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    SEPARATISTS WEAKENED BY GELAYEV'S DEATH, SAYS ILYASOV

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    MOSCOW, March 3 (RIA Novosti) - The position of separatist fighters in Chechnya has been considerably weakened after the death of their field commander, Ruslan Gelayev, acting Minister of Chechen Affairs Stanislav Ilyasov told RIA Novosti.

    "The positions of fighters will be weakened after the death of one of their inspirers and leaders," Mr. Ilyasov said.

    "This is a good result. It will bring calm to the republic," he noted.

    On Saturday, federal border guards killed Ruslan Gelayev, one of the most active field commanders of Chechen fighters, in Daghestan (a Russian republic adjacent to Chechnya) while he was travelling to Georgia. The Russian Federal Security Service has officially identified Gelayev's body.

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