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Dozens Killed, Wounded In Ingushetia Fighting

22 June 2004 -- Dozens of people were killed and wounded in fighting between between security forces and militants overnight in the Russian republic of Ingushetia, which borders Chechnya.

Interfax quoted a spokesman for the local Interior Ministry, Yakhya Khadziev, as saying 46 people, both policemen and civilians, were killed. Another 30 people were wounded.

The fighting began late yesterday when a group of heavily-armed suspected Chechen rebel fighters attacked the local Interior Ministry, police stations, and checkpoints in at least three towns in Ingushetia -- Nazran, Karabulak, and Speltsovsk. Ingushetia's acting interior minister, Abukar Kostoyev, and at least two other officials were among those killed in the fighting.

News reports said the clashes had died down early today as the militants withdrew, although sporadic fighting continued.

(Interfax ru/AP/AFP/Reuters)