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Vedeno Reportedly Still Under Chechen Separatist Control


Moscow, April 10 (RFE/RL) - The Chechen separatist stronghold of Vedeno, located some 90 kilometers Southeast of Grozny, is said to be still under separatist control, despite claims to the contrary by Russia's military command.

RFE/RL's correspondent in Vedeno today reports that he did not see Russian soldiers there. In his words, "the village is under complete Chechen fighters control."

Yesterday, Russia's military command claimed success in vedeno and said the separatists had since fled to the eastern town of Shali.

Our correspondent also reports that Russian troops are carrying out attacks in Dargo - another Chechen stronghold near Vedeno. No other details are available and there has been no further word on a reported fire raging at an oil refinery in Chechnya's capital, Grozny. The fire began after shots were fired at the installation by unidentified people.

In Moscow, meanwhile, Russian President Boris Yeltsin continues efforts to find a peaceful settlement to the conflict, which has cost at least 30,000 lives. His security council is today discussing possible talks with Chechen Leader Dzhokhar Dudayev. Yeltsin is also meeting today with members of the newly appointed commission on Chechnya chaired by Prime Minister Viktor Chernomrydin.
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