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Chechen Rebels Announce Successor to Slain Leader


Chechen rebels have announced the former head of Chechnya's Islamic court will succeed slain separatist leader Aslan Maskhadov.

The rebels said on a pro-separatist web site, the Kavkaz Center that Mr. Maskhadov had previously agreed that Abdul-Khalim Saidullayev would be his successor.

He is described as a little-known separatist.

Meanwhile, Mr. Maskhadov's family is urging Russian authorities to return his body for a proper burial.

Mr. Maskhadov, who was viewed as a moderate, was killed Tuesday in a raid in the Chechen village of Tolstoi-Yurt. Moscow says the body will be buried in an undisclosed location.

Mr. Maskhadov was elected president of Chechnya in 1997, but fled in 1999 as Russian troops swept into the area for the second war in a decade.

The Kremlin had suspected Mr. Maskhadov in a number of terrorist attacks.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and AP.

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