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Russian Detainee From Afghanistan Pleads Not Guilty In U.S.


US Army soldiers in Khost province along the Afghan-Pakistan border. (file photo)

An alleged Russian Taliban fighter has pleaded not guilty to terrorism charges in the United States and was ordered held until his trial set for April 2015.

Irek Ilgiz Hamidullin entered a plea before a court in the eastern state of Virginia on November 7.

He was arraigned on 12 counts that could carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

Hamidullin was captured by U.S. forces in Afghanistan in November 2009 after allegedly leading three groups of militants in an attack against U.S. troops and Afghan border police in Khost Province.

The FBI says Hamidullah was a Russian military officer and tank commander during the early 1980s who joined the Taliban around 2001 and has had links to the Haqqani Network since 2009.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters

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