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    GANG LEADER DETAINED IN DAGESTAN

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    MAKHACHKALA, March 4 (RIA Novosti) - The leader of a gang, Zelimkhan Aitamirov, has been detained in Dagestan, a republic making part of the Russian Federation that borders on Chechnya, a source in the Dagestani interior ministry told RIA Novosti on Thursday.

    Aitamirov, he said, was detained on the border with Chechnya during the Vikhr-Antiterror operation launched by the ministry's anti-organized crime department.

    "At present he gives evidence. The detained was on the wanted list for committing crimes punishment for which is stipulated by the article 'Banditry'," the source said.

    According to available information, Aitamirov headed a gang from 1997 to 1999 that operated in a number of Dagestani districts. He and his accomplices are suspected of committing more than 15 grave crimes, including robbery, kidnapping and thefts of cattle and farm machinery, a ministry official said.

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