Chechen rebels face new charges

Feb. 3, 2005 at 9:44 AM

VLADIKAZVKAZ, Russia, Feb. 3 (UPI) -- Russian officials have brought new charges against Chechen separatist leaders Aslan Maskhadov and Shamil Basayev.

"The Prosecutor General Office's branch for the North Caucasus has issued a ruling charging Maskhadov and Basayev with organizing a series of terrorist attacks, including the hostage-taking in Beslan and armed raids on Nazran and Grozny last summer," Deputy Prosecutor General Nikolai Shepel told Interfax Thursday.

Basayev is a hard-liner whose followers massacred 344 people, including 190 children, at a school in Beslan, North Ossetia in early September. Mashkhadov, meanwhile, is regarded by some as more willing to compromise with Russia.

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