3 MILITANTS, SUSPECTED OF NUMEROUS CRIMES, DETAINED IN CHECHNYA

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GROZNY, March 31, 2004 (RIA Novosti) - During a special operation in Chechnya, the law enforcement officers detained three members of Ahmed Basnukayev's gang who were involved in the murder of the head of the Shali administration. Colonel Ilya Shabalkin, a spokesman for the joint press center of the Regional Operational Headquarters for Controlling the Counter Terrorist Operation in the North Caucasus, told RIA Novosti about the arrests.

Iznor Dzhabrailov and Said Ali Magomerzayev, two of the detained men, are from the villages of Urus-Martan and Shali, Col. Shabalkin said.

According to him, all of the detained individuals were on the wanted list for committing numerous crimes. For example, in October 2003, they killed M. Dakayev, the head of the Shali administration, and his son.

They are also accused of shelling columns of armored vehicles in early 2004. Presently, Mr. Chalayev, Mr. Dzhabrailov and Mr. Magomerzayev are being kept in a pre-trial detention center. Their case is being investigated, the spokesman for joint press center said.

Ahmed Basnukayev was killed in Ingushetia in March 2004 during his arrest.

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