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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

50 Chechen Fighters Accept Amnesty

GUDERMES, Chechnya -- Fifty Chechen fighters said Tuesday that they were setting down their weapons under an amnesty and urged remaining fighters to halt their 12-year insurgency.

The men were presented in Gudermes, Chechnya's second-largest town, with Prime Minister Ramzan Kadyrov looking on and a cache of weapons displayed nearby. The men, all in civilian clothes and well groomed, appeared relaxed and swapped stories with Kadyrov and other officials.

"We are ready to return to a normal life," Razvan Alkhastov, in his mid-30s, said.

"I'm tired of being on the run," echoed Saikhan Asambiyev, also in his 30s. "I will tell others to stop fighting."

Officials say dozens of rebels have surrendered under the amnesty declared by Moscow last month, including senior figures in the separatist government that ran Chechnya from 1996-99.