Chechen ex-commander killed in 'blood feud': reports
A former commander of a notorious special battalion in Chechnya was kidnapped and brutally murdered in the Russian region in an apparent blood-feud killing, press reports said on Saturday.
Magomed Taisumov, the former deputy commander of the Vostok special battalion of Russian military intelligence, was abducted from his home in the town of Novogrozny in Chechnya on Monday, the reports said.
His corpse was then found on Friday in his native village of Benoy, possibly after being subjected to severe torture, the Kommersant and Moskovsky Komsomlets dailies reported.
His relatives had been tipped-off over the whereabouts of the corpse, they said.
Kommersant said that investigators were looking at whether the killing was linked to criminal activities he may have been involved in or his military past.
"The investigation is looking at several versions of what happened but they are all linked to revenge," it said.
The custom of blood revenge -- where a victim's relatives take extra-judicial revenge on a perpetrator and even the family possibly years after a crime was committed -- remains relatively common in the Russian Caucasus.
The Vostok battalion grouped together former anti-Kremlin insurgents who then swore loyalty to the Russian state and fought alongside Russian forces against Chechen separatists in the second Chechen war from 1999.
It played an important role in the Russian military right up to the 2008 war with Georgia but was then disbanded by Chechnya's strongman pro-Kremlin leader Ramzan Kadyrov, with some analysts saying it was challenging his authority.
The reported death of Magomed Taisumov comes after the former commander of the Vostok battalion, Sulim Yamadayev, was killed in March 2009 in Dubai, a crime whose circumstances have yet to be fully clarified.
In April 2009, Dubai police accused one of Kadyrov's closest political allies, Adam Delimkhanov, of ordering the assassination but then in December 2010 reduced the prison terms of an Iranian and a Tajik, convicted in the killing from 25 years to three.
Taisumov was also related to the Yamadayev clan, which had initially lashed out at Kadyrov over the murder but then agreed a public reconciliation to end the feud with the Chechen leader in August 2010.
© 2011 AFP