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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Khattab Vows to Fight On in Chechnya

GROZNY — Huddled in a cave with a small band of fighters, one of Chechnya's most notorious warlords vowed that his outnumbered insurgents would continue their fight against federal forces.

"I have no doubts as to our victory against the Russians," said the warlord Khattab, an Arab operating in Chechnya who goes by one name. "Chechnya is just a tiny territory on which Moslems successfully fight their enemies."

Khattab said he met frequently with rebel field commander Shamil Basayev and Aslan Maskhadov, the rebel Chechen president, to devise strategies against Russia.

"We meet with Basayev and President Maskhadov and Vice President Vakha Arsanov to plan and coordinate our operations against Russians," Khattab said in an interview conducted Sunday in southeastern Chechnya.

Khattab said the rebels were getting financial support from Moslems abroad. "There are many Moslems in the world who want to help their brothers to win this war," he said, without identifying the financial backers. "They support us in our struggle."

The warlord said he viewed Chechnya as a religious war.

"I'm a soldier of Islam and the war is going on and I will fight the infidels no matter where no matter where I am," he said.