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Russian force trains to counter militants from Syria: Chechen leader

By Alissa de Carbonnel MOSCOW (Reuters) - A unit of Russian security forces is training to fight Islamist militants battling in Syria on fears they may migrate from the Middle East conflict to join an insurgency in the North Caucasus, Chechnya's Kremlin-backed leader said. The Kremlin is worried that Russian-born militants will return to join insurgents who want to carve out an Islamic state in Chechnya and other mostly Muslim provinces in the mountains on Russia's southern fringe.

Insight: Russia fears return of fighters waging jihad in Syria

By Alissa de Carbonnel NOVOSASITLI, Russia (Reuters) - A scrawny 15-year-old this summer became the first from his deeply religious Muslim village in Russia's southern Dagestan province to die fighting alongside rebels in Syria. Some regard him as a martyr for joining the rebels in the fight against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad who is supported by Russia.

Top Chechen judge murdered in Caucasus

A judge and businessman from the troubled Russian republic of Chechnya were found dead Wednesday alongside a road in a neighbouring region, officials said. Adam Agakhadzhiev, a judge in Chechnya's arbitration court, and businessman Isa Atayav were gunned down by unknown individuals next to a road in Karbadino-Balkaria, investigators said in a statement. Both had bullet wounds in their head and their stomachs, the statement added. The pair had gone missing the day before.

Rights court fines Russia over Chechen village bombing

The European Court of Human Rights on Thursday ordered Russia to pay 1.2 million euros ($1.6 million) to the families of 18 people killed when it bombed a Chechen village in 2000. The court ruled in favour of 13 residents of Aslanbek-Sheripovo, a village in the southern Russian republic which has fought two brutal separatist wars with Russia since 1994.

Suicide bomber kills three police in Russia's Chechnya

GROZNY, Russia (Reuters) - Three police were killed by a suicide bomber who detonated a bomb in a car outside a police station in Russia's Chechnya region on Monday, an national anti-terrorism body said. Five police were also wounded in the bombing, which highlights the instability in the North Caucasus as Russia prepares to hold the Winter Olympics in nearby Sochi in February.

Islamist rebel vows 'maximum force' to stop Sochi Olympics

By Thomas Grove MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian Islamist rebel leaders urged their fighters on Wednesday to use "maximum force" to prevent President Vladimir Putin staging the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. In an online video recorded in a forest, Doku Umarov said an order not to attack Russian targets outside the North Caucasus had been cancelled and likened holding the Games in the Black Sea city to performing "Satanic dances" on the graves of Muslims killed fighting Russian forces there in the 19th century.

Depardieu accused of breaking Georgian law with Abkhazia trip

TBILISI (Reuters) - French-born actor Gerard Depardieu broke the law in Georgia by visiting the country's breakaway Abkhazia region and meeting separatist leaders without warning national authorities, an official said on Wednesday. Ketevan Tsikhelashvili, deputy minister for reintegration in the Caucasus state bordering Russia, said the action was punishable but signaled he was unlikely to face arrest. "We think he does not know what's going on in Abkhazia," she said.

Father of Chechen shot by FBI suspects son was tortured

GROZNY, Russia (Reuters) - The father of a Chechen immigrant killed during questioning over his links with one of the Boston Marathon bombings suspects said on Thursday he plans to travel to the United States where he suspects his son was tortured and killed. Ibragim Todashev, 27, was killed by a federal agent in his apartment complex when he became violent during questioning over his ties to Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the older of two brothers suspected of planting two bombs at the marathon on April 15.

Chechen killed by FBI in Boston probe 'not violent'

A Chechen man shot dead by the FBI during questioning on his links to the Boston bombers was not violent, his father said in an interview broadcast Thursday, speaking from his home town of Grozny in Chechnya. Ibragim Todashev, 27, was shot by the FBI in Florida on Wednesday after he stabbed an agent during questioning on his possible involvement with Tamerlan Tsarnaev in a triple homicide that took place before the Boston bombings, local media reported.

Boston bomb brothers more American than Chechen: Depardieu

GROZNY, Russia (Reuters) - French actor Gerard Depardieu said on Tuesday the ethnic Chechen brothers accused of the Boston marathon bombing had been raised American and that residents of the volatile Russian region of Chechnya were not to blame. The actor, who accepted Russian citizenship after quitting France to avoid a planned 75 percent tax on millionaires, was echoing comments from Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, with whom he has been filmed socialising.
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