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2 Prosecutors Slain in Chechnya

Russia: A land mine blows up their car in Grozny. Meanwhile, a policeman is fatally shot.

December 09, 2001|From Associated Press

VLADIKAVKAZ, Russia — Two prosecutors in Chechnya were killed Saturday when their car was blown up by a remote-controlled land mine in the capital, Grozny, officials said.

In a separate incident, assailants fatally shot a Chechen policeman after breaking into his house in the chaotic Russian region's second-largest city, Gudermes, an official in Chechnya's Moscow-backed administration said.

The land-mine blast killed prosecutors Akhmed Khamzatov and Alexander Leushin, the Grozny military commandant's office said, according to the Interfax news agency.

Leushin was on temporary assignment to the Chechen prosecutor's office from the Russian city of Novouralsk and was to return home in two weeks, the news report said.

The policeman, an ethnic Chechen identified as Shamkhan Magomadov, was shot at point-blank range by two masked assailants, the administration official said on condition of anonymity.

Although large-scale combat operations are now rare in Chechnya, hit-and-run attacks and land mines wound and kill Russian troops, civilians and rebels almost every day.

The administration official said rebels had attacked Russian checkpoints 16 times during the last 24 hours, killing one soldier and wounding eight. He said five more soldiers were killed and four were wounded when their vehicles detonated land mines.

Russia withdrew its forces from Chechnya in 1996 after a 20-month war that left the separatists in charge. Russian troops returned after rebel incursions into a neighboring region and after apartment-house bombings that Russian officials blamed on rebels killed more than 300 people.

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