Moscow, 20 November 1996 (RFE/RL) - Russian officials say unidentified gunmen have killed four Russian soldiers in an ambush near a Russian military base on the outskirts of the Chechen capital Grozny.
Russia's deputy presidential envoy in Chechnya, Viktor Medveditskov told Interfax news agency the four soldiers had been sent to investigate gunfire at a guard post on the edge of the base late yesterday and were "shot dead."
The soldiers were from Russia's 205th brigade -- one of two brigades which the Russians want to keep in Chechnya. The Chechen authorities have demanded that the brigades must be pulled out along with the rest of Russia's forces in the republic.
In a separate report, Itar-tass news agency said two Russian Interior Ministry soldiers were abducted today by unknown persons while on patrol near Grozny's "Severny" airport, which is located near the main Russian airbase in Chechnya.
Moscow and Chechen separatists signed a peace accord in August that called for a Russian troop withdrawal and a five-year postponement of a resolution of Chechnya's political status.
Fighting stopped following the accord, but incidents are frequent.