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Russia: Chechens Increase Attacks On Russian Troops

Nazran, Russia; 11 April 2000 (RFE/RL) - The Russian military says Chechen fighters are staging increasingly frequent attacks on Russian positions in southern Chechnya. The military press office said in a statement that positions in the Nozhai Yurt, Vedeno, and Shatoi districts were attacked late yesterday. The office also said that the Chechen fighters are regrouping and fortifying their bases in the mountains.

Meanwhile, the UN refugee agency said in Geneva that Chechen refugees have been returning home in significant numbers during recent days. Spokesman Jacques Franquin said that more than 500 people a day have been crossing into Chechnya from Ingushetia.

Ingushetia has taken about 250,000 Chechen refugees, but the UNHCR says the exodus has stopped. The agency says some 214,000 refugees are still there.