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Fighting Persists In Chechnya, Six Russians Dead - Jihad Unspun

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  • Zafar Khan
    Fighting Persists In Chechnya, Six Russians Dead May 01, 2003 Source: AP http://www.jihadunspun.net/intheatre_internal.php?article=53589&list=/home.php&
    Message 1 of 1 , May 1, 2003
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      Fighting Persists In Chechnya, Six Russians Dead
      May 01, 2003
      Source: AP


      Fighting persisted in Chechnya and the head of the
      Moscow-backed administration said Monday that a
      presidential election in the region, approved by its
      voters in a referendum last month, should not be
      rushed. Six Russian servicemen were killed and six
      others wounded in fighting and mine blasts in the
      previous 24 hours, an official in the Chechen
      administration said on condition of anonymity. In
      separate clashes, two members of the mostly ethnic
      Chechen police force were killed and six others
      wounded, the official said.

      Russian forces continued shelling suspected rebels
      position, mostly in the mountainous south, and
      detained more than 150 people in security operations
      that have been sharply criticized by civilians and
      human rights groups. One of the policemen and a
      Chechen rebel leader were killed when a clash broke
      out during one of the security sweeps, the official

      Fighting has continued following a constitutional
      referendum last month that the Kremlin and the Chechen
      administration said were part of a path to peace and
      stability in the mostly Muslim southern Russian
      region, wracked by two wars between Russian forces and
      separatist rebels in the past decade.

      Voters approved a constitution cementing Chechnya's
      status as part of Russia and also gave the green light
      for parliamentary and presidential elections in the
      region. No dates has been set for the votes, which
      cannot be earlier than six months after the March 23

      Administration chief Akhmad Kadyrov, who is acting
      president until the election, said that authorities
      "should not rush the elections, especially against the
      background of current events," the ITAR-Tass news
      agency reported. "We should not hold them just for
      show," ITAR-Tass quoted him as saying. "We are to
      normalize the situation in order to hold normal

      Human rights groups had used similar reasoning when
      they urged authorities not to hold the constitutional
      referendum while war persisted, but their concerns
      were rejected.

      Russian forces withdrew from Chechnya in humiliation
      after a 1994-96 war that left separatists in charge.
      They returned in 1999 following rebel raids in the
      neighboring Dagestan region and after apartment-house
      bombings that Russia blamed on the rebels killed more
      than 300 people in Moscow and other cities. Russia has
      cast its wars in Chechnya has part of a struggle
      against international terrorism and has emphasized
      links between Chechen rebels and Islamic militants
      from abroad.

      On Monday, the Russian Federal Security Service, or
      FSB, said it was confirming reports that al-Qaida
      leader Osama bin Laden's chief deputy, Ayman
      al-Zawahri, was detained in Dagestan in 1997 while
      using an assumed name but was later released, Russian
      news agencies reported.

      FSB spokesman Sergei Ignatchenko said al-Zawahri was
      detained after visiting Chechnya and held in a
      pre-trial detention center for few months but was
      released and expelled from Russia after authorities
      failed to establish his identity, Interfax and
      ITAR-Tass reported.

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