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Russia: Ingushetia Appeals For Help With Chechen Refugees

Moscow, 28 September 1999 (RFE/RL) - Russian planes and artillery attacked Chechnya today for the sixth consecutive day as tens of thousands of Chechen refugees were seeking shelter in neighboring Ingushetia. Ingushetia says it cannot feed and shelter up to 100,000 Chechen refugees and has appealed for UN help. But Russian Emergencies Minister Sergei Shoigu said there were only 15,000 refugees and that the situation did not warrant international help. Speaking on a brief visit to Ingushetia, Shoigu said that Russia itself would provide aid. Russia says it is bombing Chechen-based Islamic guerrillas who twice this summer invaded Dagestan and who it blames for a series of terrorist bombings which killed 300 people in Russia. Russian Interior Minister Vladimir Rushailo said several people had been arrested for the bombings and police had prevented 16 other bombings. There was a bomb alert today at a Moscow cancer clinic.

Chechen officials said the Russians are striking at civilian and economic targets and eight people were killed today when planes bombed a village school and other buildings.