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Ten Russian Soldiers Killed In Chechnya

15 April 2004 -- An official in the Kremlin-backed Chechen administration said on condition of anonymity that 10 Russian soldiers died in rebel attacks throughout Chechnya over the past 24 hours.

The official said five Russian soldiers were wounded. Russian planes and artillery today also pounded several other southern regions in a routine effort to hit suspected rebel hideouts, and at least 220 people were detained in sweeps for suspected rebels and accomplices.

Russian forces pulled out from Chechnya in 1996 after being fought to a standstill by rebels in a 20-month war, leaving the region de-facto independent.

They came back in 1999 after Chechnya-based militants launched forays into the neighboring province of Daghestan and after the deaths of some 300 people in apartment bombings that officials blamed on Chechen separatists.