–FOUR CHECHEN REBELS JAILED FOR INGUSHETIA RAID
On February 1, Ingushetia’s Supreme Court sentenced four Chechens to 17 years in prison for involvement in the June 2004 armed attack led by Chechen separatist field commander Shamil Basaev on police and government targets in Ingushetia, which killed 79 people and wounded 104 others, Itar-Tass reported. The four defendants were acquitted on the charge that they had planned to take hostages at a school in the Ingush village of Nestorovskaya in the event that another group of gunmen was unable to seize a school in Beslan, North Ossetia, in a September 2004 raid. The Beslan raiders, of course, seized Beslan’s School No. 1 on September 1, 2004, and that hostage crisis ended with deaths of 330 people, about half of whom were children. On January 28, Itar-Tass reported that a 30-year-old militant who had participated in the June 2004 raid on Ingushetia, Aslambek Khatuev, had been killed the previous day during a special operation in the city of Karabulak.
–MILITANTS KILLED IN DAGESTAN
Interfax reported on January 30 that five militants were killed in two special operations in Khasavyurt. Dagestani Interior Ministry acting spokesperson Anzhela Martirosova told the news agency that one of the rebels, identified as Lechi Eskiev, was killed on the city’s Energeticheskaya Street while four other rebels were killed on Beibulatov Street. “One of the dead militants has been identified as a certain Nouzov, who assisted with financing for illegal armed units in northern Chechnya and Dagestan,” she said. “Eskiev was the so-called emir of militants in the Shelkovskaya, Naurskaya and Nadterechny districts of Chechnya. Some sources claimed that he was recently appointed the emir of Grozny.” Also on January 30, Interfax reported that a close aide of Shamil Basaev, Akhmed Yunusov, was captured in a special operation in the Dagestani town of Derbent.