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Seven arrested in Dubai over Yamadayev assassination - consul


ABU DHABI, March 31 (RIA Novosti ) - At least seven people have been arrested in Dubai in connection with the murder of Sulim Yamadayev, Russia's Consulate General told RIA Novosti on Tuesday.

Yamadayev was shot by a lone gunman in the underground car park of the Dubai apartment block where he lived early Saturday. "The suspects are all currently at the Prosecutor General's Office in Dubai," Sergei Krasnogor said, adding that all have Slavic surnames. The diplomat said that the Dubai Police Chief, Maj. Gen. Dahi Khalfan Tamim had personally informed him of the death of Yamadayev, the former military commander of Chechnya's Vostok battalion.

Krasnogor will meet with the country's chief prosecutor on Wednesday to discuss the arrests and the Yamadayev killing.

A spokesman from the Russian Foreign Ministry, Andrei Nesterenko, said on Tuesday that the ministry would follow the murder investigation carefully through the consulate office in Dubai, adding that Yamadayev "is not just a Russian citizen, but also [an awarded] Hero of Russia."

Conflicting reports since Yamadayev's assassination have surfaced from his relatives, local sources in Dubai, and the media.

According to a police source on Tuesday, the body of Yamadayev was handed over on Monday to his brother, who is in the Gulf state.

"The body of the deceased was being held in the morgue at Dubai's police headquarters and was handed over to his brother in the evening," the police source said, dismissing newspaper reports that Yamadayev was alive and undergoing medical treatment in a Dubai hospital.

However, a relative told RIA Novosti on Monday that Yamadayev was alive, while Russia's Kommersant daily reported on Tuesday that his family was confident he would survive, although his wife, Isa, said he was in a critical condition.

Yamadayev was officially dismissed from his post as commander of the Defense Ministry's Vostok battalion last August over an alleged involvement in the 1998 abduction and murder of a Chechen businessman.

The killing of Yamadayev is the fourth in a series of apparent assassinations of Chechen exiles in the past six months.

Sulim's brother, Ruslan Yamadayev, a former member of the Russian parliament's lower house, was gunned down in central Moscow last September. He was a prominent opponent of Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov, who has denied any involvement in the killing.

Umar Israilov, who was seeking political asylum in Austria, was gunned down in Vienna on January 13 by two men. And a month later Ali Osayev, who had fled to Istanbul six years ago after the second Chechen war, was shot three times in the head near his home in the city.

The murder of Osayev followed last year's slaying of two other Chechen militants, Islam Janibekov and Gadji Edilsultanov, who were murdered in separate incidents in Istanbul. Both deaths were linked to disputes over financial assistance for Chechen separatists

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