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Chechnya: Many Russians Killed In Bombings

Gudermes, Russia; 3 July 2000 (RFE/RL) - ITAR-TASS reports indicate that officials are uncertain about the casualty figures from five suicide truck bomb attacks by Chechens against Russian forces yesterday and this morning. One report, quoting officials, put casualties at 44 dead and 120 wounded. But another report shortly afterwards, also quoting official sources, said 37 servicemen died and 74 were wounded. Chechen guerrillas say Russian casualties are in the hundreds. Kremlin spokesman Sergei Yastrzhembsky said Gudermes was the main target of the attacks but Argun was the worst hit when a truck exploded near a barracks, killing at least 31 Russian troops. There were also attacks in Urus-Martan and Novogrozny.

Russian officials said that unknown gunmen last night also attacked the home of the top pro-Moscow Chechen official, Akhmad Kadyrov. But Kadyrov, also the republic's senior Muslim cleric, was not home.