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    GROZNY, January 21, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - The head of a bandit group, which acted in the area of Grozny, the Chechen capital, has been arrested in the republic. A spokesman for the regional operations headquarters for controlling the counter-terrorist operation in the North Caucasus told reporters about it on Wednesday.

    In carrying out measures for catching members of illegal armed units, the law enforcement bodies received information about the possible whereabouts of Sulim Bitayev, an active member of the bandit underground," said the spokesman.

    In detaining Bitayev, law enforcers confiscated from him a Makarov pistol with a filled magazine to it and two grenades.

    It has been established that the detained man was the so-called "emir of the Wahhabi jamaat" which operates in one of the villages in the Grozny district. The republican prosecutor's office has launched a criminal case against Bitayev, charging him with the organisation of an illegal armed unit. Investigation is under way.

    Apart from that, in conducting selective special operation in Grozny, another active participant in the bandit underground was detained, a certain Sultanbek Damayev. He also had a Makarov pistol on him. The weapon was confiscated.

    The spokesman for the headquarters explained that Damayev was on a wanted list since 2002 for committing crimes which fall under the article of "terrorism" in the Criminal Law. It has been established that the detained is concerned in a number of terrorist acts in Grozny which resulted in victims among the civilians. Damayev also recruited young men for performing terrorist acts.

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