Russia says kills Chechen rebel leader, two militants
MOSCOW, March 7 (Reuters) - Russian forces killed the leader of one of the rebel groups fighting to carve an Islamist state out of the North Caucasus and two other militants on Thursday, news agencies said, quoting Russia's anti-terrorism committee.
One law enforcement officer was killed and another wounded in a gunfight with the militants in the Vedeno district, one of the regions hardest hit by two separatist wars in Chechnya after the Soviet collapse, they said, quoting the committee known by its Russian initials NAK.
The dead leader, Adam Khushalayev, who had adopted the name Abu-Malik, had been a wanted man for over a decade and had taken over as head of a rebel group after its leaders were killed in January, NAK said.
The leaders before him, the brothers Khuseyn and Muslim Gakayev, had been blamed for organising several high-profile attacks, most recently a suicide bombing that killed four interior ministry soldiers last August, according to NAK.