Six Policemen Killed in Chechnya
Six Russian and pro-Russian Chechen policemen have died in two incidents in the Chechen capital Grozny during the previous 24 hours, local officials said Wednesday.
Two men were killed and three others wounded Tuesday when a radio-controlled device exploded as their armoured vehicle was passing, the ITAR-TASS news agency reported.
Four others were killed in an ambush, the officials were quoted as saying.
Russian paratroop commander General Georgy Shpak said seven Chechen rebels were killed during a skirmish in the Argun gorges in the south of the republic.
Russian positions in Chechnya were attacked 17 times Tuesday, military sources said.
Up to 80,000 Russian troops are currently believed to be fighting in secessionist Chechnya, where Moscow launched what it called an "anti-terrorist" operation on October 1, 1999.
The Russian army has begun to withdraw troops from Chechnya as part of a phased scaledown of Moscow's military presence in the war-torn republic, the defence ministry said last week.
Security measures in Chechnya have been tightened ahead of the February 23 anniversary of Stalin's deportation of 650,000 Chechens and Ingushis to central Asia and Siberia in 1944 – MOSCOW (AFP)
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