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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Soldiers Acquitted in Chechens' Killing

ROSTOV-ON-DON -- A jury on Thursday acquitted four members of an elite military intelligence unit charged with killing six civilians in Chechnya.

Captain Eduard Ulman and three subordinates were accused of killing the civilians when the truck they were riding in passed the officers' position on a Chechen roadside in January 2002, but the defendants said they were acting on superiors' orders. Lawyers for the victims' families said they were planning to appeal the verdict, Itar-Tass reported.

Meanwhile, the Federal Security Service claimed Thursday that an alleged Jordanian rebel killed in the North Caucasus this week was a member of international terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden's inner circle and a cousin of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who heads al-Qaida in Iraq.

The suspected militant, who went by the single name Jarah, was killed Tuesday near the Chechen border, said Major General Ilya Shabalkin. Jarah had been a middleman for funding Chechen rebels by foreign terrorists and had helped rebels organize attacks, Shabalkin said.