GROZNY, July 3 (RIA Novosti) - An Arab mercenary and terrorist named Mukhanad with ties to al-Qaeda was behind a plot to assassinate Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov, the North Caucasus republic's interior minister said on Friday.
Police and security forces reportedly prevented an assassination attempt on the Chechen president on Thursday when they surrounded suspected militant Said-Selim Abdulkadyrov and his female accomplice in a private house in the village of Staraya Sunzha near Grozny.
Abdulkadyrov was killed in the exchange of fire, while the woman was wounded and arrested.
"According to our data, Mukhanad, who is a leader and a financier of militant groups, instructed Abdulkadyrov to carry out a terrorist attack on a square in Grozny during Ramzan Kadyrov's public appearance," Lt. Gen. Ruslan Alkhanov said.
The minister said the information had been confirmed by an audio recording found on Abdulkadyrov's body. Mukhanad can be clearly heard giving instructions to Abdulkadyrov as to where and how to stage the attack.
Alkhanov also said police were searching for other possible accomplices of the militant.
Russia's North Caucasus republics have been swept by a wave of violence in the past two months, since the government formally ended its decade-long counterterrorism operation in Chechnya, which witnessed two brutal separatist wars in the 1990s and early 2000s.
Kadyrov told RIA Novosti last week that the struggle to tackle militant attacks in Chechnya and neighboring Ingushetia was going according to plan, and that Russian President Dmitry Medvedev had asked him to intensify and conclude the fight.