Basayev having the remains of his foot surgically removed
CNN is reporting this morning that Shamil Basayev, the terrorist who bragged about planning the Beslan massacre, has been killed by Russian security forces. This victory is far more important to Russians than the killing of Zarqawi was for the Americans in Iraq - this is the equivalent of us nailing Osama Bin Laden.
CNN has more details:
Russian television showed Patrushev meeting Monday with Putin to tell him about the special operation in Ingushetia -- a republic bordering Chechnya -- in which Basayev was killed in the early morning hours of Monday.
The Russian agents exploded a truck bomb next to several cars in which Basayev and other rebels were riding, according to Interfax, which was quoting Ingush Deputy Prime Minister Bashir Aushev.
"This is retaliation he deserves for killing our children in Beslan, Budennovsk, all the terrorist acts his bandits perpetrated in Moscow and other regions of Russia, including Ingushetia and the Chechen Republic," Patrushev said in an Interfax report.
Law enforcement officials in Ingushetia told Interfax Basayev's body was in pieces but it was identified by his head and by the fact that he had earlier lost a foot.
Twelve other Chechen rebels were killed in the operation, the official said.
A statement on website www.kavkazcenter.com said the Chechen rebel leadership was not making any comment yet, Reuters news agency said.
The U.N. Security Council put Basayev on its official terrorist list last year after Washington classified him as a threat to the United States.
Russia Blog congratulates the Russian security forces for a job well done. We know that Basayev's death is small comfort to the families of his victims, but it is a huge step towards peace and prosperity in the Caucuses and another stinging defeat for the global jihad.
UPDATE1: Russian newspapers are quoting President Bush's comment this afternoon at the G-8 Summit press conference, "If this is the person who planned the murders of the children of Beslan, he got what he deserved."
UPDATE2: U.S. Army National Guard Captain Jason Van Steewyk echoes my thoughts exactly about how, even in death, the AP cannot bring itself to use the t-word for a child killer.
UPDATE3: The latest AP story today uses the word "terrorized" and describes Basayev as a "ruthless warlord". Perhaps I spoke too soon.
Click on the extended post to see Shamil Basayev's legacy - WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES
May Basayev's name be blotted from memory.
UPDATE: 12/27/2006 - RIA Novosti reports that the identity of Shamil Basayev's remains have been confirmed through DNA testing.