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Reputed Tajik Crime Boss Nabbed Selling Vegetables

A reputed Tajik rebel leader-turned-crime boss accused of killing at least 43 people, including 19 Russian soldiers, in 25 attacks was detained working as a vegetable seller in a Russian region, the Federal Security Service said Wednesday, Interfax reported.

The FSB did not provide details on Abdulvosit Latipov's arrest other than to say he resided in the Chelyabinsk region. NTV television said he was detained in the Volgograd region.

The FSB said Latipov and two suspected associates, Yusuf Dzhalilov and Boimurod Khodzhayev, who were detained in December 2009 and April 2010, respectively, would be extradited to Tajikistan.

The FSB said Latipov and his men trained in terrorist camps in Iran and on the Afghan-Pakistani border and served in the United Tajik Opposition, a rebel faction during the civil war in Tajikistan in the 1990s.

Participants of the civil war were granted amnesty in 1998, but Latipov and his group switched to lives of crime, in particular kidnapping people for ransom, which led to them being convicted in absentia and placed on an international wanted list in 2001.

The trio moved to Russia in 2004, obtaining Russian citizenship and setting up small businesses, possibly as a cover for criminal activity, the FSB said.

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