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Chechen Minister Confirms Basaev Back In Government

Shamil Basaev (file photo) 30 August 2005 -- A senior Chechen rebel representative confirmed today that Chechen rebel leader Shamil Basaev has rejoined the separatists' government.

Osman Ferzaouli, foreign minister for the rebels, was quoted by AP as saying Basaev rejoined the rebel government as deputy prime minister on 25 August.

Ferzaouli, who lives in Denmark as a refugee, said Basaev "has promised to be more responsible."

Basaev has claimed responsibility for a number of attacks, including the deadly school seizure in the North Ossetian town of Beslan. More than 330 people died -- most of them children -- when the three-day hostage situation in Beslan ended in explosions and shootings on 3 September. [For more on the Beslan school tragedy, see RFE/RL's Remembering Beslan webpage.]

Russian President Vladimir Putin has refused to negotiate with the rebels, calling them terrorists.


Related story:

" Basaev Named To Chechen-Resistance Cabinet"