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19 Chechens Reportedly Killed for Copter Assault

January 30, 2002|From Times Wire Reports

Russian troops attacked a Chechen rebel base and killed 19 fighters blamed for an assault on a military helicopter, officials said.

The Mi-8 helicopter made an emergency landing Monday in the Vedeno area, injuring two of the 16 troops aboard, after it was fired on by a large-caliber submachine gun, an official with Chechnya's pro-Moscow government said on condition of anonymity.

The clash followed Sunday's crash in Chechnya of another Mi-8 helicopter that killed all 14 people aboard. The crash was initially blamed on rebels, but Russian officials have raised the possibility of an accidental explosion.

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