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The World | IN BRIEF / RUSSIA

73 Chechen Rebels Reportedly Killed

January 01, 2002|From Times Wire Reports

Russian forces killed 73 Chechen rebels and took 20 prisoners in a major operation in the separatist republic, officials said.

The Interfax news agency also quoted officials as saying two Russian servicemen held by Chechen rebels were freed.

The agency said a top rebel leader, Ruslan Chilayev, was among those killed. Interfax quoted the office of Sergei Yastrzhembsky, the Kremlin's spokesman on Chechnya.

The report said mercenaries were among the dead, but it provided only sketchy details on the rescue of the Russian servicemen.

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