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Last Updated: Sunday, 31 October, 2004, 18:08 GMT
Chechen leader issues new threat
By Jonathan Charles
BBC correspondent in Moscow

Shamil Basayev
Shamil Basayev is Russia's most wanted man
The Chechen extremist leader who masterminded the school siege in the town of Beslan has threatened more attacks against Russian civilians.

More than 330 adults and children died in September's attack.

The leader, Shamil Basayev, who is Russia's most wanted man, made his comments in an interview published on internet sites linked to militants.

The militants are demanding independence for the Russian republic of Chechnya.

Split

The authorities are offering a $10m reward to anyone who helps to capture Basayev.

But the Chechen extremist has responded by threatening more attacks on Russian civilians.

On the websites, he says civilians will continue to be targeted because Russian troops are committing human rights abuses during in Chechnya.

But he also acknowledges his tactics have caused a split with more moderate Chechens who are pursuing independence, like the republic's former President, Aslan Maskhadov.

Basayev also says that if the Russians do capture him, it would make no difference as others would fight on.


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