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Chechen Leader Sacks Cabinet; Russian Officer Killed

Chechen leader Sadulaev (file photo) 14 August 2005 -- Chechen separatist leader Abdul-Khalim Sadulaev has dismissed his government. Meanwhile, a remote-controlled land mine today killed a senior Russian military officer and four other soldiers in Chechnya.

A decree dated 11 August posted today on the Kavkaz-Tsentr separatist website says outgoing cabinet ministers will remain in place until a new government is formed within the next two weeks.

In another decree, Sadulaev says he has decided to abolish the institutions of special and plenipotentiary representatives of the Chechen president abroad. Finally, the Chechen leader says he has appointed Idris Khasanov to head his administration with additional powers over all separatist executive structures abroad.

Sadulaev says the shakeups are designed to enhance the efficiency of the separatist executive with a view to "meeting the conditions imposed by the state of war."

The senior officer killed was Colonel Aleksandr Kayak, the commander of the Urus-Martan area, southwest of the capital
Grozny. He was leading a detachment to the village of Roshni-Chu after rebels had attacked the house of a Moscow-backed civilian administrator.

Interfax news agency reported that the administrator's house burned to the ground, but he wasn't hurt.


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