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Chechnya: Russian Soldiers Killed In Ambush

Moscow, 25 April 2000 (RFE/RL) - Russian Colonel-General Gennady Troshev said at least 13 federal troops were killed in an attack on Sunday near the village of Serzhen-Yurt in southern Chechnya. Kremlin spokesman Sergei Yastrzhembsky said 15 soldiers died. A rebel spokesman gave a far higher number of Russian casualties, saying an armored column escorting arms and supplies was destroyed. The attack brought to more than 55 the number of troops Russia has admitted losing in rebel ambushes in Chechnya in less than a month. Meanwhile, the UN Human Rights Forum in Geneva is due today to consider a European Union resolution denouncing violations of human rights in Chechnya.

Two representatives of the Council of Europe are due to arrive in Moscow today, ahead of a planned visit to Chechnya tomorrow.

The ITAR-TASS news agency said the two men -- Ivan Kojedzikov and Claude Schmitt -- would be working on security and organizational issues related to Council of Europe experts who will be stationed in the offices of Vladimir Kalamanov, the Russian presidential human rights envoy to Chechnya.

Russia has agreed to allow a three-man team of Council of Europe experts to monitor human rights conditions in Chechnya. The agreement came before the democracy and human rights-monitoring council suspended Moscow's voting rights over the Chechen conflict earlier this month.