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Chechnya: Both Sides Claim Heavy Losses

Moscow, 24 July 2000 (RFE/RL) -- Both sides in the Chechen conflict are claiming to have inflicted heavy losses on the other. AFP news agency quotes separatist spokesman Movladi Udugov as saying Chechen rebels killed 10 Russian soldiers overnight in a series of attacks in the capital Grozny. Udugov said another 10 Russian troops were killed in fighting today in the Argun Gorge of southern Chechnya. The office of the Kremlin's top spokesman for the conflict dismissed the rebel claims as propaganda. But Russian military officials conceded that federal positions had come under intensive fire in the last 24 hours.Russian army headquarters for its part said that 59 Chechen fighters had been killed yesterday during military operations.Both sides in the conflict regularly exaggerate their opponents' losses. Casualty tolls are impossible to confirm independently.