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Alleged Co-Organizer Of 2002 Moscow Theater Attack Arrested

A Russian court says a suspected organizer of a deadly 2002 hostage siege at a Moscow theater has been arrested.

The Moscow City Court said on December 17 that Khasan Zakayev had been placed in pretrial detention in mid-November for a period ending on February 18.

Zakayev, a 41-year-old native of the Chechnya region, is charged with perpetration of a terrorist attack, membership in an illegal armed group, and illegal weapons possession.

Some 50 militants took an audience of more than 700 people hostage at the Dubrovka theater to demand the withdrawal of Russian troops from Chechnya.

The siege left 130 hostages and 40 attackers dead, the vast majority of them from the effects of a toxic gas Russian security forces pumped into the theater before storming it.

None of the other alleged organizers of the attack has been apprehended.

Six people were convicted as accomplices from 2003-2007 and sentenced to prison terms of up to 22 years.

Based on reporting by Kommersant and Interfax

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