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Chechens Vow To Fight On After Maskhadov Death

9 March 2005 -- Chechen rebels have vowed to continue their fight against Moscow's rule following the death of resistance leader Aslan Maskhadov.

Akhmed Zakaev, the London-based spokesman for Maskhadov, is quoted by news agencies as saying he is certain the resistance will continue.

Zakaev said he expected a successor to Maskhadov to be named in the coming days.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, after being told that Maskhadov had been shot and killed yesterday during a raid by Russian Federal Security Service forces in the Chechen village of Tolstoi-Yurt, said a significant amount of work remains to be done in Chechnya.

Putin called for intensified efforts to protect the populations of Chechnya and Russia against what he called "bandits."

Maskhadov, who along with radical field commander Shamil Basaev was one of the two most-wanted men in Russia, was blamed by the Russian government for involvement in a series of attacks on military and civilian targets.


Copyright (c) 2005. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036. www.rferl.org

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