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    FEW MILITANTS STILL LOYAL TO "PRESIDENT" MASKHADOV

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    GROZNY, April 7 (RIA Novosti) - No more than 60 militants are loyal to Aslan Maskhadov, the so-called president of Ichkeria (what Chechen separatists Chechnya), Colonel Ilya Shabalkin, a spokesman for the regional operational headquarters for conducting counter-terrorist operations in the North Caucasus, reported. He added that no more than 10-15 of the militants were active.

    On April 6, 30 militants gave themselves up in the Kurchaloi, Nozhai-Yurt and Gudermes districts of Chechnya. "Members of the Khambiyev, Turlayev and Aidamirov bandit groups surrendered to the law enforcement bodies in March and April, 2004. All of them were loyal to Maskhadov," Col. Shabalkin reported.

    According to him, negotiations on the surrender were held by the staff members of the Chechen president's security service and the Federal Security Service Chechnya department.

    A source said that, according to the militants, they decided to surrender after talking with relatives and after Khambiyev and Aidamirov, former commanders, told them to lay down their arms on local television.

    Presently, these militants are being investigated for involvement in grave crimes.

    The former head of a "special department of Ichkeria," Boris Aidamirov, surrendered to law enforcement bodies on March 10, former "Defense Minister of Ichkeria" Magomed Khambiyev surrendered on March 7 and former head of Aslan Maskhadov's personal guard Shaa Turlayev surrendered on April 2.

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