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Turkish 'Mercenary' Said To Be Among Dead In Chechnya


27 September 2004 -- The Russian military said its troops have clashed with fighters in southern Chechnya, killing five of them, including a Turkish national.

A military spokesman, Ilya Shabalkin, said a group of fighters were spotted late yesterday near the village of Serzhen-Yurt, some 35 kilometers southeast of Grozny.

"During the search of the area, near to the place [where the fighters were killed], the body of a fighter was found. There were papers which confirmed that he was a Turkish citizen. He had a Turkish international passport and a [ID] card that replaces a [local] passport in this country," Shabalkin said.

During a shootout between Russian forces and the suspects, five militants were killed. Shabalkin said one of those killed had identity papers identifying him as a Turkish citizen.

The Russian military spokesman said the armed group presumably included other foreign nationals.

Russian forces were still searching today for insurgents who managed to escape after the battle.

(AP/AFP/ITAR-TASS)
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