August 18, 2006

Chechnya rebel leader surrenders to Russia

GROZNY, Russia (Reuters) - Chechen separatist leader Doku
Umarov voluntarily surrendered to Russian authorities on
Friday, a spokesman for the pro-Russian government in Chechnya

The spokesman said Umarov, the most powerful of remaining
rebel commanders, turned up at a government headquarters in the
Chechen town of Gudermes.

Umarov became the head of Chechen separatists in June. His
only rival in the resistance movement, warlord Shamil Basayev,
was killed in a truck blast in July.

"Now, illegal armed formations do not have a single leader
authoritative among the fighters," Itar-Tass news agency quoted
a Chechen government spokesman as saying.

The agency said Chechen Prime Minister Ramzan Kadyrov
personally accepted Umarov's surrender.