GROZNY, June 17 (RIA Novosti) - Abdul Khalim Saidulayev who called himself the president of Ichkeria, the name militants use for Chechnya, was killed in a special operation Saturday, Chechnya's prime minister said.
Ramzan Kadyrov said, "We are determined to eliminate international terrorism in the North Caucasus."
Saidullayev was proclaimed successor of Chechen separatist leader Aslan Maskhadov who was killed by Russia's security forces in March 2005.
Chechen President Alu Alkhanov praised Chechnya's law enforcement agencies for the successful operation.
"This is a major success of the republic's law enforcement agencies. They have proved their ability to conduct difficult special operations and resolve problems of combating international terrorism," Alkhanov said.
He said Saidullayev could not affect the strengthening of peace and stability in Chechnya.
Chechnya's Interior Ministry said Saidullayev's body had already been identified.
The ministry also said three other militants who accompanied Saidullayev had escaped and the search for them was under way.
Russia's Federal Security Service said a policeman and an FSB officer had been killed in the special operation.