Doku Umarov, the new leader of the Chechen rebels (file photo) (RFE/RL)
PRAGUE, June 21, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- Chechen separatists have formally announced that a rebel field commander, Doku Umarov, has been appointed the leader of the self-declared Chechen separatist government.
Umarov succeeds Abdul-Khalim Sadulayev, who was killed by pro-Russian forces on June 17.
A statement on a separatist website posted on June 21 said Umarov had taken over as president the day Sadulayev was killed.
Umarov, a long-time guerrilla leader, previously served as vice president in the self-declared government.
The aftermath of a December 2002 Chechen resistance attack on the main government building in Grozny (epa)
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