Pro-Moscow officials in Chechnya say federal forces have killed a separatist leader believed to have been involved in a number of terrorist attacks.

Authorities say Rizvan Chitigov was killed Wednesday in a special operation in Chechnya's Shali district.

The Itar-Tass news agency says in 2001 he had considered producing poisonous substances to use against federal forces.  The agency quotes pro-Moscow Chechen President Alu Alkhanov saying the slain leader was a hard-line field commander with a long record of killing law enforcement and government officials.

Russian troops have been battling separatists in Chechnya for most of the past decade.

Some information for this report provided by AFP.