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First Probe Launched Against Russian Citizen Fighting In Syria

Chechen fighter Abdallah Shishani was killed in Syria in January 2013.
The first probe against a Russian citizen fighting on the side of the Islamic insurgency in Syria has been launched in the Russian region of Chechnya.

The Chechen prosecutor's office said that a Chechen man, Shakhid Temirbulatov, had been charged in absentia with participation in the activities of illegal armed forces abroad.

Investigators say Temirbulatov, who is reportedly now in Syria, joined the Islamic insurgency fighting against government forces in that country in July.

In September, the deputy chief of Russia's Federal Security Service, Sergei Smirnov, said that at least 300 Russian citizens had joined Islamists in Syria.

In November, amendments to the Russian Criminal Code came into force, according to which Russian citizens taking part in illegal military operations abroad can be jailed for up to six years after returning home.

Based on reporting by Regnum and ITAR-TASS