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23 March 2005 -- Police in Chechnya say they have killed a rebel commander suspected of involvement in a Moscow explosion and a series of abductions.

Police searched a house in the southern town of Shali where Rizvan Chitigov was hiding in a niche behind a wall. The officers shot him dead when he stepped out of the hiding hole.

His fellow rebels nicknamed Chitikov "the American," apparently because he had visited the United States. Gennadii Reshetnev, a spokesman for the Federal Security Service in Chechnya, said Chitigov staged an August 1999 blast that injured 30 people in an underground shopping mall next to the Kremlin. He was regarded as an explosives expert.

(AP/AFP/ITAR-TASS)
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