Russian Military: Chechen Rebels Step up Mining Campaign
Chechen guerrillas are stepping up their mine-laying campaign against federal forces in the breakaway republic, Russian military sources said Monday.
The rebels are placing an average of 20 mines a day on roads into the republic and close to civilian and military objectives, the military news agency AVN quoted officials at army headquarters in Chechnya as saying.
Rebel leaders have given instructions to their forces to increase the number of mines laid, the sources said.
On Sunday a rebel was killed by Russian troops as he was laying a mine in the capital Grozny, AVN said, quoting the interior ministry. Another rebel was captured and a third escaped.
Russian troops came under attack nearly 200 times over the past week, the Interfax news agency quoted military sources as saying, giving no indication of the number of casualties suffered.
A spokesman for rebel Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov, contacted by phone, said Russian troops had lost two dead over the past 24 hours, including one at Argun, a town 10 kilometres (six miles) east of Grozny.
Late Sunday, Chechen rebels said they had hanged two Russian interior ministry troops at Argun.
Officials speaking for the Kremlin's senior advisor for Chechnya, Sergei Yastrzhembsky, said they were unable to bear out the claim.
However Russian troops in Argun carried out a number of raids in the town following the murder of two civilians on Saturday, the said – MOSCOW (AFP)
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