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North Caucasus Insurgency Commander Reported Killed In Chechnya

GROZNY, Russia -- Security forces in Russia's North Caucasus republic of Chechnya reportedly have killed an Islamic insurgency commander.

The republic's leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, told journalists in Grozny that Rustam Saliev, also known as Abu-Muslim, was killed in a special operation in Chechnya's south early on July 8.

After two separatist wars in Chechnya in mid-1990s and early 2000s, the Islamic militancy has spilled over into other North Caucasus republics, such as Daghestan, Ingushetia, and Kabardino-Balkaria.

In 2007, the leader of Chechen separatist forces, Doku Umarov, proclaimed himself the leader of what he called the independent Islamic state of Imarat Kavkaz (The Caucasus Emirate) in Russia's North Caucasus.

Saliev, 31, wanted by Chechen authorities for years, was known as the commander of the pro-Umarov insurgency in Chechnya's Achkhoi-Martan district.

Based on reporting by ITAR-TASS and Interfax

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