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Chechen Guerrilla Leader Basayev Named to Separatist Government Post

A Chechen militant website says Shamil Basayev, who is wanted in Russia for leading numerous terrorist attacks, has been named second-in-command of the separatist Chechen government

A statement on the web site says Mr. Basayev was named first deputy prime minister and put in charge of the armed forces. The statement was attributed to Abdul-Khalim Sadulayev, who succeeded Aslan Maskhadov as president of Chechnya's breakaway government when the Chechen leader was killed in March.

Mr. Basayev left Chechnya's administration in 2002 under pressure from Mr. Maskhadov for being too violent.

Mr. Basayev claims responsibility for last year's school seizure in Beslan, a town in southern Russia, in which more than 330 people were killed.

Chechnya has been rocked by about a decade of fighting between separatist forces and Russian federal government troops.

Some information for this story provided by AP and Reuters.