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CHECHNYA - Russians Deny New ambush; Find Bodies

MOSCOW, 1 May 2000 (RFE/RL) -- The Russian military is denying that another 13 soldiers have been killed in an ambush by Chechen guerrillas. But it does say that the bodies of nine soldiers killed after an earlier ambush have now been found.

Rebel spokesman Movladi Udugov claimed that separatist forces staged the latest ambush yesterday, near Bachi Yurt, east of the Chechen capital Grozny. He said 13 Russians had been killed and two armoured vehicles destroyed.

The Russian military authorities today denied that any ambush had taken place. But they did announce the discovery of the bodies of nine servicemen who were apparently executed after being taken hostage in an earlier ambush on March 29. The bodies were found yesterday buried near the village of Dargo.

Meanwhile, the military also says its forces have made new attacks on rebel positions. It says air and artillery strikes in the last 24 hours have destroyed nine separatist camps and a number of their fortified