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Chechen Government Says 1,700 People Missing in Republic --> Prague, 12 April 2005 (RFE/RL) -- The pro-Russian Chechen government constitutional rights committee said today that nearly 1,700 people have been abducted in Chechnya and are still missing.

Sultan Salmanov of the committee said abductions have dropped significantly in the past year but added that Chechen authorities were unhappy with the slow pace of finding people.

Residents of Chechnya blame separatist rebels, Russian forces and pro-Russian para-military groups for the abductions.

Salmanov said the problem of the missing in Chechnya is one of the most complicated issues in the republic.

Salmanov said the figure given by the committee was based on meetings with relatives of those missing. (AP)