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Russia: Defense Ministry Confirms Attacks By Chechens

Urus-Martan/Moscow, 10 February 2000 (RFE/RL) - The Russian Defense Ministry today confirmed that Chechen fighters had ambushed two military trains in a Russian-controlled part of Chechnya. A ministry spokesman refused to provide details, but Russian news agencies said the trains were attacked two days ago near the town of Argun, 15 km east of Grozny. The attackers were reported to have retreated after damaging the trains. No casualties were reported.

Russian military command today forbade travel between settlements across western Chechnya, even for people with passes from the military authorities.

In almost all Russian-controlled areas there is a curfew in place, with no movement allowed after 6 pm.

In Moscow, acting President Vladimir Putin today said Russia would offer up to $70 million worth of reconstruction aid for Chechnya. The New York-based Human Rights Watch group said in a statement that it had confirmed at least 30 executions of Chechen civilians by Russian troops in Grozny. The group said it was investigating several other incidents.