President Putin has already been informed about Maskhadov's elimination
Fugitive Chechen President, Aslan Maskhadov, has been killed. The information about Maskhadov's death has been received from the official spokesman for the Regional Headquarters to control the counter-terrorist operation in the Northern Caucasus, Gen. Ilya Shabalkin.
”I can confirm that Maskhadov has been killed in the Chechen settlement of Tolstoy-Yurt. An armed clash took place in the settlement. Maskhadov was hiding in a bunker underneath one of the houses in the settlement,” Interfax quoted Ilya Shabalkin as saying.
The official spokesman for the headquarters did not clarify any other details of the special operation, which had been conducted in Tolstoy-Yurt. Shabalkin only said that Maskhadov's body had been identified.
Elimination of Chechen leader, Aslan Maskhadov - Photo Gallery
A spokesperson for the local administration said that the Chechen government did not have any information about the killing of the fugitive Chechen leader. “I know nothing on the matter,” the chairman of the Chechen State Council, Taus Jabrailov, told Interfax on the telephone.
According to Ilya Shabalkin's previous statement to RIA Novosti news agency, Russian federal forces have been conducting a special operation in Chechnya's Vedeno and Nozhai-Yurt districts for the recent two days. Two guerrillas from Shamil Basayev's group and one guerrilla from Aslan Maskhadov's group have been detained in the operation, the general said. The arrested terrorists told the federal forces about a terrorist act, which was supposed to be performed in Russia on March 8th (which is celebrated as the Women's Day in Russia nationwide).
”Taking account of the current situation, the command of the federal forces ordered to set up a joint detachment of FSB, Interior Ministry and Defense Ministry's military men. The detachment was sent to the settlement of Tolstoi-Yurt,” General Shabalkin said.
Russian special units are currently pursuing the terrorists in Tolstoi-Yurt, who were said to have prepared a terrorist act.
Nikolai Patrushev, the director of the Russian Federal Security Bureau, informed President Putin about the killing of the Chechen leader. Vladimir Putin ordered Patrushev to take additional measures to confirm the information. In the event the information is confirmed, the military men, who destroyed the international terrorist, will be put forward for a state decoration, Putin said.
In late March, Russia sent to Italy a group of epidemiologists and specialists from radiation, chemical and biological protection troops of the Defense Ministry to help disinfect medical facilities in Italy