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Chechen rebel leader reappears

By wire services
Published July 4, 2004

MOSCOW - After at least two years without being seen in public, a Chechen guerrilla commander and militant leader reappeared Friday night on a videotape in which he vowed to continue the separatists' war in Russia.

But the commander, Shamil Basayev, apparently seeking to make a claim of containing the long-simmering war, pledged to refrain from terrorist acts in other nations.

"We are not planning any attacks outside Russia, even though we have the capability to do so," he said. "We will not even target Russian officials who committed massacres against the Chechen people if they are in foreign countries."

Basayev, the one-legged emir of the Riyadus-Salikhin Reconnaissance and Sabotage Battalion of Chechen Martyrs, is the most prominent of Chechnya's Islamic militants and has been linked to attacks in Russia's Caucasus region and in Moscow.

Israeli troops kill 2 Palestinian boys

BEIT HANOUN, Gaza Strip - Israeli troops shot to death two Palestinian boys Saturday, pushing ahead with a broad military operation aimed at preventing militants from firing rockets at Israeli towns bordering the Gaza Strip.

Nine-year-old Ehab Shatat was killed by machine gun fire, apparently from a tank-mounted gun, while standing near his home in Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza, Palestinian hospital and security officials said.

The army said it fired warning shots at a Palestinian mob that approached soldiers in a threatening manner, but it was not aware anyone was hit.

Hours later, troops killed a 16-year-old boy, who Palestinian hospital and security officials said apparently was shot by a machine gun. The army said troops shot and killed a teenager who was throwing cement blocks at soldiers.

Elsewhere . . .

NEW PRISON ABUSE CHARGES: The U.S. military is investigating a new claim of abuse in a network of secretive U.S jails in Afghanistan where at least four captives have died. Maj. Jon Siepmann said the latest allegation was reviewed by U.S. officials last week. He gave no further details.

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