Chechen field commander Khattab was killed. A special operation to eliminate Khattab took place in March, a source in the Federal Security Service told Interfax. It was also mentioned that the Bureau “has reliable evidence of the fact.”
As soon as information about the liquidation of Khattab appeared, Federal Security Service spokesman Alexander Zdanovich promised that documented evidence of the operation’s result would soon be provided.
The claim sounds rather credible. Within the past month, information about Khattab’s liquidation was mentioned several times by different media in Russia. Now we know that all publications were not unfounded. For instance, it was said that an Arab agent was recruited by one of the CIS countries under the guise of a Chechen guerrilla for participation in the operation. Khattab, in his turn, did not show at all that he could not be reached for contacts. The activity of Khattab-controlled militants was ill-coordinated.
However, local civilians do not believe that Khattab was killed. People are still horror-stricken at the mentioning of his name. The cruel field commander is wrapped in a so-called invincibility halo in the mountainous Chechnya. If it is said that Khattab is not in Chechnya, and people are more likely to believe that he is somewhere abroad, for example in Afghanistan of some other Persian Gulf country than killed.
Well, the only thing left is to look forward to the promised “documented evidence” from the Federal Security Service.
Sergey Stefanov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Maria Gousseva
Read the original in Russian: http://www.pravda.ru/main/2002/04/25/40294.html