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Four Killed In Fighting, Explosion In Chechnya

21 August 2004 -- An official with the Moscow-backed Chechen administration said today that at least four people were killed in incidents in the separatist region over the past day.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said separatist fighters attacked a truck carrying Russian servicemen between the villages of Chiri-Yurt and Duba-Yurt, killing one and wounding four.

An explosives engineer was killed trying to defuse an explosive device in the Chechen capital Grozny.

Also in Grozny, two police officers were killed when their patrol car came under fire.

At least three Russian soldiers were wounded in the fighting in the Vedeno and Itum regions.

The violence comes with just over a week remaining before the southern Russian republic votes on 29 August to replace its assassinated president, Akhmad-hadji Kadyrov.