MOSCOW. March 30 (Interfax)
- Akhmed Zakayev, the former Chechen leader Aslan Maskhadov's
envoy, has supported the U.S.-British military operation in
"The Saddam regime must be overthrown.
The Chechen people associate Hussein with the evil for the
Iraqis and for the rest of the Islamic world," Zakayev said in
an interview with Ekho Moskvy radio on Sunday.
"Hussein does not fit into any Islamic,
or secular norms. Attempts to picture him as a hero or martyr
are his supporters' mistake," Zakayev said.
He condemned war as an evil that brings
death to civilians, but said that Hussein had not left any
other option for the international community.
Zakayev's statement came as the first
official confirmation of Maskhadov's support for the U.S.
operation in Iraq, announced by the Chechen Press news agency
in its release on Friday
Meanwhile, prominent Chechen politicians
condemned this position. Mufti Akhmed Shamayev assailed
Maskhadov for supporting the U.S. operation in Iraq. "He is
mad. He is no longer a Muslim and he has lost all humanness,"
Shamayev told Interfax on Friday.
Head of the Chechen administration Akhmad
Kadyrov also condemned Maskhadov's position. "Those who are
trying to justify Bush's operation have mental problems and
must undergo medical treatment," Kadyrov said.
He said the Iraq war is being opposed by
dozens of thousands of people in Muslim countries and
elsewhere in the world.
Zakayev is currently in London. The
British authorities are considering his extradition to Russia.
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