Chechnya to reward for information about rebels
May 03, 2003 Posted: 11:34 Moscow time (07:34 GMT)
VLADIKAVKAZ - Chechnya's Moscow-backed administration is setting up a
special fund that will offer cash rewards for information leading to
the capture of Chechen rebels or the prevention of rebel attacks,
Russian news agencies reported Friday.
Chechen business leaders and public organizations are being asked to
contribute to the fund that will dole out the reward money, said
Akhmar Zavgayev, who represents Chechnya in Russia's upper house of
parliament, the Federation Council.
"If bandits recruit jobless young people to stage terrorist attacks
for US$100, why can't we turn the person into an informer by offering
more," the Interfax news agency quoted Zavgayev as saying.
Rebels are outgunned and outnumbered by federal troops in Chechnya,
but they continue to move with impunity throughout much of the
southern Russian region despite the massive Russian military
Zavgayev said reward amounts will depend on the information provided,
adding that details that lead to the capture of top rebel leaders or
foreign mercenaries will be more highly valued, Interfax reported.
Exact details of how the fund will operate were still being worked
out with Russia's Interior Ministry, Zavgayev said. He emphasized
that the fund will not provide ransom for hostages - a traditional
money-earner in Chechnya.
Fighting persists despite Russian assertions that the situation has
improved significantly and despite a March constitutional referendum
that the Kremlin billed as a step on the path to peace and stability.
Six Russian servicemen were killed and five others wounded in rebel
attacks and mine blasts in the region in the previous 24 hours, an
official in the Moscow-backed administration said on condition of
anonymity. Two Chechen police troops were shot dead Friday morning in
the central market in Grozny, the capital, the official said. /The