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Russia Says Chechen Militants Eligible For Beslan Bounty

11 September 2004 -- Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) says Chechen militants are eligible for a 10-million-dollar reward offered for information leading to the arrest of two Chechen leaders.

The government has accused Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov and radical field commander Shamil Basaev of involvement in the school takeover in Beslan that culminated with the deaths of more than 300 hostages

FSB spokesman Ilya Shabalkin said investigators are "ready to cooperate with everyone, including members of illegal armed groups." Shabalkin did not specify to what groups he was referring.

Maskhadov has denied any involvement in hostage taking in the North Ossetian city.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said today that Basaev directed last week's school siege in Beslan, but Lavrov did not provide evidence. Basaev has made no public comment on the hostage taking.


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