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Russia Arrests Three Terror Suspects

1 August 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Russian Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliev today said three suspects have been arrested in connection with a car-bomb attack that killed 14 people in the Chechen village of Znamenskoye on 19 July. --> /featuresarticle/2005/7/623A17AB-4179-4828-849F-50D2724904AF.html

Nurgaliev made the announcement at a cabinet meeting in Moscow.

"Two people have already been arrested as a result of the investigation, and another operation was conducted [on 31 July], in which the main perpetrator was arrested," he said. "The perpetrator is already confessing and I think we will soon uncover the whole mechanism of how this terrorist act was carried out."

Chechnya's pro-Moscow Interior Minister Ruslan Alkhanov alleged today in Grozny that all three suspects are subordinated to radical separatist field commander Shamil Basaev.

In related news, Russia's "Nezavisimaya gazeta" today reported that unidentified attackers have ambushed and killed three members of a Russian Army's Chechen- manned crack unit in recent days.

The newspaper says the victims all belonged to the Vostok (East) battalion, an army intelligence unit that is suspected of raiding a predominantly ethnic Avar village of Chechnya on 4 June.

Russian authorities last week said one Vostok officer was arrested on suspicion of leading the raid, which left two villagers dead.