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Security Boosted For Chechen Elections

(RFE/RL) 17 November 2005 -- A senior election official says security has been boosted in Chechnya where polling stations are due to open in 10 days for the republic's parliamentary election.

Ismail Baikhanov, the head of the Chechen Election Commission, today said the police presence has been increased around the more than 400 polling stations ahead of the election.

On 27 November, voters in Chechnya will elect a parliament for the first time since Russian troops entered the republic in 1999, in the second war against separatists in a decade. Russian and Moscow-backed Chechen authorities say the situation is normalizing, but the republic continues to be plagued by violence.

Interfax reported that masked men in camouflage late on 16 November seized and shot dead three men and wounded another one in a village just outside the capital Grozny.