– CHECHEN VILLAGE REPORTEDLY BOMBARDED
Interfax reported on December 1 that the military prosecutor’s office of the Combined Federal Forces in the North Caucasus was looking into reports that a village in Chechnya’s Shatoi district had been bombarded and that the attack had caused civilian casualties. Prosecutors planned to “check the information provided by the head of Shatoi district administration regarding the circumstances of the bombardment and possible casualties,” a source in the military prosecutor’s office told the news agency. Shatoi district administration head Dzhamalayla Khadashev had earlier told Interfax that the village of Sharoi-Argun was attacked from the air on December 1 at 1:45 PM, leaving two local men seriously wounded and a woman with a concussion.
– SPAIN ARRESTS CHECHEN “REBEL”
Kommersant reported on December 5 that a suspected Chechen rebel was arrested in Spain. According to the newspaper, Murat Gasaev, who was detained in Mislata, Valencia, was on the wanted list of Russia’s prosecutors, FSB and Interpol for alleged “banditry.” He and an unidentified housemate were arrested by a special police squad of 40 officers. A search of their apartment reveled neither drugs nor weapons. Russian authorities allege that in mid-2003, Gasaev became a member of a rebel “gang,” which carried out raids in Ingushetia, primarily in the republic’s Nazranovsky district. Ingushetiya.ru website, however, reported that the Nazran police placed Gasaev on the wanted list in February 2006 when he was already abroad. The independent website also quoted relatives of Gasaev as saying he was put on the list simply because he was not at his place of residence and authorities had concluded he had gone off to join the rebels. The pro-Chechen separatist Daymohk website on December 5 called on international human rights groups to prevent Gasaev’s extradition to Russia, accusing the Spanish authorities of an “anti-Chechen policy and groveling loyalty to the Russian dictatorship.”