Chechen 'executioner' of Russian soldiers arrested

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Moscow, Apr 4 (UNI) Police have arrested Arbi Dandayev, a Chechen militant who took part in the cold-blooded execution of captive Russian soldiers during a raid on a village in 1999 in Daghestan, Russian region near Chechnya, in North Caucasus.

''During a joint operation in Grozny, the Chechen capital, police detained a militant, who participated in the massacre of Russian servicemen in September 1999 in the Daghestan village of Tukhchar,'' Chechen Interior Minister Ruslan Alkhanov told mediapersons today.

''Dandayev confessed that during the raid on the village he took part in the execution of Russian soldiers,'' Mr Alkhanov said.

According to the police, Dandayev, 34, served in a special paramilitary police unit in the then Republic of Ichkeria.

The six Russian servicemen from the Interior Ministry's Troops were taken prisoner by Chechen militants and executed on the outskirts of the village of Tukhchar. The executions were recorded on video.

Several participants in the massacre were identified by the authorities in the recording. Two of them were apprehended and are currently serving long prison terms in Russia.

The Chechen militants' atrocities and their incursion into Daghestan in August 1999 led to the Second Chechen war.

''Police have neutralised more than 100 members of criminal armed groups in operations since the start of this year,'' Nikolai Simakov, Chechnya's First Deputy Interior Minister said.

''Nineteen of them were killed after they resisted arrest, 78 were detained and 10 gave themselves up,'' Mr Simakov said.

He said a gang led by Uvais Techiyev, involved in a series of attacks and murders of police officers in 2007, and another group active in the mountainous Shatoi district had been eliminated.

UNI XC RJ PM1633

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