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    KHANKALA, April 2, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - Aslan Maskhadov's (leader of Chechen separatists) former security chief has been operated on in the Gudermes hospital (Gudermes - the second largest town of Chechnya, 30 km east of Grozny), official spokesman for the local operative HQ for the anti-terrorist operation in the North Caucasus Ilya Shabalkin told RIA Novosti.

    "In view of Turlayev's wound that aggravated his condition, he was brought to Gudermes hospital and had a complicated and urgent surgery. Now he is receiving qualified medical aid," said Mr. Shabalkin.

    He emphasised that "no investigative measures and checks have been conducted in regard to Turlayev yet."

    Mr. Shabalkin added that Mr. Turlayev, who comes from the Gansol-Chu Shaa village had turned himself in as a result of the measures of the security service of the Chechen president and law-enforcers.

    "According to the Russian law, the federal forces reacted humanely," said the spokesman for the operative HQ.

    Turlayev was the security chief of Chechen separatist leader Aslan Maskhadov. He also co-ordinated the activity of illegal bandit formations in the Kurchaloi, Nozhai-Yurt, Gudermes districts of Chechnya (using radio calls Sedoi, Saifula, Sheikh, Rusy). In August 2003, he was appointed Maskhadov's emissary in the Nozhai-Yurt district. He also took an active part in the organisation of subversive terrorist attacks and headed a bandit detachment in this district.

    Mr. Shabalkin said that watching the drastic changes in the situation and the normalisation of life in the republic, Turlayev realised the meaninglessness of the criminal activities aimed above all against his own people. As a result of his negotiations with law-enforcers and the security service of the Chechen president, Turlayev decided to hand himself over to the police and return to normal life.

    His decision was prompted by different events and election campaigns held in the republic and also the fact that former defence minister of Ichkeria Khambiyev and the so-called chief of the special department Aidamirov turned themselves in, noted Mr. Shabalkin.

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