Chechens stage protest over abductions
GROZNY, Russia, March 31 (AFP) - Nearly 300 people demonstrated outside
Chechnya's government headquarters in the capital Grozny Wednesday in protest
at the armed nighttime abduction of nine people this week.
Residents from the southern Dubai-Yurt village where the abductions took
place staged a protest along with a group of students from Grozny.
Villagers said masked armed men cordoned off part of Dubai-Yurt over Sunday
night and drove off with eight men aged between 17 to 35, while the students
said a 20-year-old student was taken away the same night in Grozny.
Random kidnappings are common in Chechnya, where separatists have been
fighting Russian troops on and off for the past decade.
Human rights groups have blamed Russian troops and forces loyal to
pro-Moscow Chechen President Akhmad Kadyrov for most of the abductions, which
usually occur during searches for possible rebels among the civilian