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Russia: Fighting Surges In Southeastern Chechnya

Moscow, 28 June 2000 (RFE/RL) - Fighting continues to surge in Chechnya as rebels say they have launched a new wave of attacks near the strategic Argun Gorge, which cuts through the mountains of southeastern Chechnya. Chechen official Movladi Udugov said that rebels have killed more than 100 Russian soldiers. But Moscow says rebels have killed only 12 soldiers in the past three days and that up to 80 Chechen fighters have been killed. A senior Russian defense official says the country's military has been greatly underestimating resources available to Chechen rebel forces. Deputy Chief of Staff General Valery Manilov told Interfax news agency today that Chechen insurgents have recently replenished their stocks of ammunition, weapons, and manpower.