Grozny, Russia; 3 August 2000 (RFE/RL) - Russian troops used heavy equipment yesterday to dig deep trenches across the streets of the Chechen capital, Grozny. The move is part of preparations aimed at frustrating car bomb attacks. Russian commanders suspect rebels may launch a wave of attacks on or about Monday, the first anniversary of the rebels' armed incursion from Chechnya into neighboring Daghestan.
The military also has tightened security by building an extensive network of temporary checkpoints. Rebels used trucks in a series of deadly vehicle bombings last month. Truck traffic into Grozny now has been banned. Meanwhile, a car bomb killed a pro-Russian bureaucrat in charge of agriculture in the Urus-Martan region.
The bomb killed Movsar Shamsaev instantly as he stepped out of his car. Interfax reports that a Russian military spokesman claims rebels set the bomb to intimidate Chechens who work with Russians.