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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Rebels Say They Can Control Basayev

COPENHAGEN -- A senior Chechen rebel representative confirmed Tuesday that Shamil Basayev had rejoined the rebel government, and said the radical warlord would be kept in check by other ministers.

Basayev, who claimed responsibility for last year's deadly school seizure in southern Russia and other terrorist attacks, rejoined the rebel government as deputy prime minister on Aug. 25, Osman Ferzaouli, foreign minister for the rebels, told The Associated Press.

"He has promised to be more responsible," Ferzaouli, who lives in Denmark as a refugee, said about Basayev.

"Basayev is a soldier, but he cannot refuse to take orders given by the state defense council," which would put him "out of the law," Ferzaouli said.

"The Chechen government and the state defense council will push him to be quiet," he said. The state defense council is the inner circle of top field commanders that makes key decisions for the rebels. The Kavkaz Center rebel web site last week said Basayev had rejoined the rebel government in a move that analysts said reflected the desire to regroup following the killing earlier this year of their leader, Aslan Maskhadov.

Ferzaouli said the old government had been dissolved earlier this month, and that he had been in touch with Maskhadov's successor, Abdul-Khalim Sadulayev. Ferzaouli, who had been part of a moderate wing led by Maskhadov, said he replaced Ilyas Akhmadov, the former rebel foreign minister granted political asylum in the United States.

Danish Foreign Minister Per Stig Moeller said he was "deeply disappointed that you form a government that is working for democracy, and you include a terrorist like Basayev."

"The Chechens are losing goodwill," Moeller told Denmark's public radio. "They lost goodwill with the massacre in Beslan, and now they are again losing goodwill when they take a Beslan murderer into the exiled government."