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Russia: Chechens Flee In Wake Of Air Attacks

Grozny, Russia; 28 September (RFE/RL) - Refugees are continuing to leave the breakaway Russian republic of Chechnya for neighboring Ingushetia in the wake of five days of Russian air attacks. Around 50,000 refugees from Chechnya are estimated to have arrived in Ingushetia. The border is now reported closed by Russian troops. AFP reports officials from Ingushetia have appealed to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, saying that they don't have the means to cope with the flood of refugees. Russian warplanes meanwhile are expected to continue raids throughout the day today in a bid to destroy Chechnya-based Islamic extremists. Russian officials say the extremists are to be blamed for a recent spate of bombings which killed more than 300 people in Moscow and other cities. The Russian military command in Dagestan said 50 sorties were flown yesterday. Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev has said the strikes will continue until the Islamic fighters are destroyed. Islamic rebels launched two attacks on Russian positions in Dagestan in the past six weeks. They are seeking to establish an independent Islamic state in the north Caucasus.