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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Chechen Warlord Killed In Attack on Cop's Home

GROZNY — A top Chechen warlord was killed when he and a small band of insurgents launched a bold and bloody attack on the house of a police official in Grozny, officials said Monday.

According to Sultan Satuyev, deputy chief of the Interior Ministry police in Chechnya, rebel leader Magomet Tsagarayev and several other fighters assaulted the house late Sunday night. The house belonged to Saidi Tashukhadzhiyev, deputy police chief for Grozny's Zavodsky district, Satuyev said.

Tashukhadzhiyev and two other policemen were fatally shot in the attack. As the assailants were leaving, Tashukhadzhiyev's 18-year-old son grabbed an automatic rifle and shot at the rebels, killing Tsagarayev and wounding another, according to Satuyev.

Click here to read our special report on the Conflict in Chechnya.

The son was seriously wounded, Interfax reported.

"One of the cruelest of the so-called field commanders, whose name is connected to kidnappings and murders, has been killed," Satuyev said.

Chechnya's separatist rebels do not fall under a single command, instead allying themselves with various warlords who are believed to have occasional clan-based disputes among themselves. Tsagarayev, who was about 25 years old, was believed to have been sheltering in neighboring Georgia in recent weeks but then was called to Chechnya by warlord Ruslan Gelayev to answer questions about the killing of one of Gelayev's relatives, Itar-Tass said.

Although the rebels' command structure is not unified and wide-scale fighting died down more than a year ago, small groups of insurgents have tormented federal forces with daily often-fatal skirmishes, sniper fire and booby traps.

President Vladimir Putin on Monday urged the military to strictly abide by the law, in the wake of allegations of looting and beating of civilians during troops' searches for rebels in Chechnya.

"Each step you make, each operation should take place exclusively within the current legislation, and each Russian citizen should be convinced of the flawlessness of your actions," Putin told a meeting of military and security service officers.

Putin stressed the "need for strengthening discipline" in the military and for "the most strict observance of Russian law," Interfax reported.