Moscow, 12 November 1999 (RFE/RL) - A Russian general says Russian
troops early today entered the second-largest city in breakaway Chechnya to flush out Chechen separatist fighters. Valerii Manilov, first deputy chief of the general staff, said on Russian NTV television that the troops were cooperating with residents of Gudermes to avoid what he called "provocations." The report could not be independently confirmed by sources at the scene. Chechen military commanders claim there are some 1,000 rebel fighters holed up in Gudermes. Russian officials put their number at fewer than 100 men.