Chechen fighter claims Russia bombings

Chechen independence fighter Shamil Basayev has claimed responsibility for two bombings carried out this month in southern Russia and Moscow.

    The Moscow bombing killed six people


    to the pro-Chechen website, the former Chechen prime minister also warned further attacks will follow.


    "Our martyrs' fighting brigade carried out two attacks under our

    operation Boomerang in Yessentuki (Ingushetia) and in Moscow, aimed

    at forcing the Russians to make peace," Basayev said.

    He added: "I emphasize that we did not aim to terrorise

    anyone. Our goal was to wipe out the accomplices to genocide of the

    people of Chechnya."

    'Russia torture centre' 

    The Pyatigorsk region of southwest Russia, where a bombing

    killed 46 people on 5 December, was chosen "because that is the site

    of the Belaya Lebed detention centre where hundreds of Chechen

    hostages are held", he said.

    "They are victims of inhuman torture... several of them have

    disappeared without trace."

    Vladimir Putin launched the 
    second Chechen war in 1999 

    Turning to the 9 December attack in Moscow, Basayev said: "The

    target of our martyred sister in Moscow was the Duma," the lower

    house of parliament for which elections were held two days earlier.

    It was possible, he said, that "something prevented her from

    walking the 50 metres to her goal" before setting off the explosives.

    Wanted man

    The attack

    killed six people and wounded 14 others following legislative

    elections in which President Vladimir Putin's allies won a sweeping


    Basayev, 38, is Russia's most wanted man.

    He rose to prominence when Russian forces invaded Chechnya in 1994, and soon became one of the leading commanders of the Chechen resistance.

    At the end of the war he stood for the Chechen presidency but came second to Aslan Maskhadov.

    He was then appointed Chechen prime minister, but his popularity waned as crime and kidnappings spiralled in the internationally isolated republic.



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