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MASKHADOV'S ELIMINATION TO WEAKEN CHECHEN TERRORIST LEADERS

RIA Novosti

MOSCOW, March 9 (RIA Novosti) - The elimination of Aslan Maskhadov will, no doubt, weaken the leaders of Chechen terrorists, the Federation Council's [the upper house of the Russian parliament] Defense and Security Committee Chairman Viktor Ozerov told RIA Novosti.

"Any redistribution of power between the so-called Ichkerian leaders is welcome to the federal authorities," Mr. Ozerov stressed. Their wrestling for a new pecking order will weaken them, and the federal authorities must seize the opportunity, he said.

Maskhadov's death will contribute to normalizing the situation in Chechnya.

"From where I stand, elimination of any Chechen warlord should and will facilitate the efforts to normalize the situation in Chechnya," Mr. Ozerov underlined.

He said that the Federal Security Service (FSB) is facing a task of eliminating all of the Chechen terrorist leaders.

"The work being done to this end is by no means haphazard, rather it sticks to a clear-cut plan. That no federal serviceman has been wounded or killed during the operation is another proof of that," Mr. Ozerov said.



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