Obituary for Yandarbiyev distributed in Chechnya
Timur Aliyev, North Caucasus – Obituary leaflets about Chechen Islamic politician and resistance supporter Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev, who was killed in a car explosion in Qatar a month ago, are being handed out among the people in Chechnya.
The hand outs state, "The Islamic Ummah has suffered an irreparable loss. On February 13, 2004, the Kremlin's hit men committed another heinous crime by murdering a legendary Muslim; a brave and virtuous Chechen YANDARBIYEV ZELIMKHA, killed in the 52nd year of his life.
The Chechen nation justly calls Zelimkha a symbol of their fight for liberation against the Russian colonial policy in the Caucasus, a symbol of the suffering of this nation’s battle for freedom and independence."
The hand outs, which are signed by "The Union of National-Patriotic Forces of Chechnya" and passed around covertly, go on to say that books will be written about poet and politician Yandarbiyev, highlighting his contribution to the fight for Chechnya’s independence.
The obituary ends with, "Oh, Allah, accept the death of our modest Muslim, your meek servant, as a death on your just path, the path of Jihad. Allahu Akbar!"
Yandarbiyev became acting president of the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria after the first Ichkerian president Dzhokhar Dudayev was assassinated in 1996. For the past several years he lived in Qatar, where he allegedly collected funds for the Chechen armed resistance. Russia had been seeking his extradition.
Three Russians were arrested by Qatari police in connection with Yandarbiyev's death. One was released because he had a diplomatic passport; and Russia is now seeking the release of the other two men, exerting diplomatic pressure on Qatar and declaring it would use all available means to achieve their release.