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A Chechen gunman arrested in Ingushetia
A Chechen gunman arrested in Ingushetia, a North Caucasus republic in Russia neighboring Chechnya, has admitted being involved in kidnapping, an Interior Ministry spokesman, Tamerlan Kazikhanov, said today. Khusein Tochiyev, a Chechnya resident wanted on suspicion of being involved in abduction of a businessman's family, was arrested in Ingushetia yesterday during an Interior Ministry operation. Kazikhanov said Tochiyev had confessed to the charges and said he completely regretted his involvement. Viktor Dolgalev, an entrepreneur from Gelendzhik, which is on the Black Sea in Russia's Krasnodar region, and his wife were kidnapped on the border between the republic of North Ossetia and Chechnya in early September 1999. They were driving in their car for talks on oil products and steel supplies when four masked gunmen stopped their car. They were put in different cars and taken to the Chechen village of Bamut first and later on to Grozny, the republic's capital. "Viktor and Valentina [his wife] were not the only people to be taken hostage by Tochiyev," said Kazikhanov. "They learned from the guards that two businessmen from Kazakhstan had also been held there, but their relatives paid the ransom demands. The Dolgalevs were lucky to be released." "Tochiyev was a member of the 'Bamut battalion,' a criminal group that is active in Chechnya and Ingushetia," said Kazikhanov. The spokesman also said that another ten members of the group had already been arrested and sentenced to long jail terms
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