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Russian FSB Says Two Participants In Basayev's 1999 Attack On Daghestan Detained

Chechen separatist Shamil Basayev in 2001
Chechen separatist Shamil Basayev in 2001

Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) says that two alleged members of a group led by late Chechen separatist field commander Shamil Basayev that attacked Daghestan in 1999 have been apprehended.

The FSB said on April 24 that two residents of the Stavropol Krai region -- Takhir Begeldiyev, 45, and Nariman Otepov, 43 -- were arrested and charged with attacking military personnel.

In early August 1999, militants led by Basayev entered the Daghestan region from neighboring Chechnya, which had de facto independence after a 1996 peace deal ended a devastating war between federal troops and Chechen separatist forces.

After Basayev's group announced what they said was the creation of an independent state in Daghestan, federal troops entered Chechnya on October 1, launching a second war in the mostly Muslim region.

The campaign restored Moscow's control over Chechnya and helped Vladimir Putin, who was Russian prime minister at the time and still relatively little known, gain prominence and popularity.

Between 1994 and 2006, Basayev led several major attacks by Chechen insurgents against federal troops and claimed responsibility or was blamed for a number of terrorist attacks in the North Caucasus, which includes Chechnya and several other regions.

Once the most wanted man in Russia, he was killed in an explosion in 2006 in Ingushetia, a region bordering Chechnya.

With reporting by TASS and Interfax