Police kill two alleged gang members in Chechnya (CHECHNYA)


In another incident, a soldier was wounded when he stepped on a landmine south of Grozny, the ministry said.


(24.11.2005)

Police in the Chechen capital shot and killed two men alleged to have been members of armed gangs, the Chechen Interior Ministry said Tuesday.

Police found rifles, grenades and counterfeit police identification cards on the corpses following a brief shootout in a Grozny district, the ministry said.

Also in Chechnya, one Defense Ministry soldier was killed and one wounded Tuesday in mortar training exercise in a southeastern district, the Interior Ministry said. In another incident, a soldier was wounded when he stepped on a landmine south of Grozny, the ministry said.

Chechnya holds parliamentary elections on Sunday.

In the city of Khasavyurt in Dagestan, police on Tuesday arrested two men, one of whom allegedly had links with the terrorist group that staged the 2002 Moscow theater hostage-seizure, the federal Interior Ministry said.

Also Tuesday, traffic police in Kalmykia region arrested a Chechen and a Russian wanted for several crimes in Chechnya and elsewhere, the ministry said.

In Kabardino-Balkariya, the Caucasus region that was hit by brazen daylight attacks on police posts last month, regional Interior Ministry forces arrested a soldier who had stolen bomb-making material from a military arms cache.

Russian forces and separatist rebels have been fighting in Chechnya for most of the past decade, though the fighting consists mainly of near daily skirmishes or booby-trap explosions. The violence increasingly has spilled over into other Caucasus regions, which is blighted by rampant unemployment, corruption and lawlessness.

Von: 23 November 2005 (AP)

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