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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Military Blames Maskhadov For Rise in Grozny Violence




NAZRAN, Ingushetia -- A spate of attacks on federal facilities in the Chechen capital could mark the beginning of a new offensive ordered by rebel leader Aslan Maskhadov, military officials said Friday.


Rebels attacked Interior Ministry offices in three districts of the city and fired on four military outposts Thursday night, the military command said, according to Itar-Tass.


"The high intensity of firing at federal forces deployed in Grozny suggests that the militants have started implementing Aslan Maskhadov's order to intensify subversive and terrorist activity," the command's press service said. It did not give casualty figures in the attacks.


The military has been saying for the past week that Maskhadov, the Chechen president, has ordered rebels to step up their guerrilla campaign against federal forces starting Friday. But many rebels operate outside Maskhadov's control, and it wasn't immediately clear who attacked the federal troops in Grozny.


Also Friday, the Federal Security Service said it has identified a key source of financing for the Chechen fighters.


The FSB said the Islamic charity Al-Haramain, based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, has channeled funds to the Chechen rebels since 1997, Interfax reported.


The FSB said the group, under suspicion elsewhere of overstepping its humanitarian goals and instead funding violence, helped supply rebels with weapons, food, medicine and cash.


Al-Haramain's web site says it sends food and blankets to Chechnya and Chechen refugees through its office in Azerbaijan, and sponsors Islamic studies throughout the Caucasus region.


Al-Haramain was among six Islamic charities that authorities in Kenya banned in 1998 on suspicion of involvement in the bomb attack on the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi


In Kuala Lumpur, Maskhadov's son Anzor said his father's offer for talks has repeatedly been ignored by President Vladimir Putin.


Anzor Maskhadov, who fought with his father in Chechnya's earlier 1994-96 war, is in Kuala Lumpur to study. He spoke in an interview with the official Bernama news agency issued Friday.