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Turkish 'Mercenary' Said To Be Among Dead In Chechnya

27 September 2004 -- The Russian military said its troops have clashed with fighters in southern Chechnya, killing five of them, including a Turkish national.

A military spokesman, Ilya Shabalkin, said a group of fighters were spotted late yesterday near the village of Serzhen-Yurt, some 35 kilometers southeast of Grozny.

"During the search of the area, near to the place [where the fighters were killed], the body of a fighter was found. There were papers which confirmed that he was a Turkish citizen. He had a Turkish international passport and a [ID] card that replaces a [local] passport in this country," Shabalkin said.

During a shootout between Russian forces and the suspects, five militants were killed. Shabalkin said one of those killed had identity papers identifying him as a Turkish citizen.

The Russian military spokesman said the armed group presumably included other foreign nationals.

Russian forces were still searching today for insurgents who managed to escape after the battle.