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Chechnya: Russians Tighten Security Following Suicide Attacks

Grozny, 4 July 2000 (RFE/RL) -- Russian military officials say they tightened security across Chechnya overnight following a series of suicide bomb attacks by separatist fighters. Extra troops and armored vehicles have been sent from a base near Grozny to bolster Russian positions at the towns of Gudermes, Urus-Martan and Argun. Meanwhile, a search is continuing for Russian police and soldiers still missing. The Kremlin has confirmed that at least 37 Russian servicemen were killed in the five suicide attacks. In each case, a Chechen separatist drove a truck loaded with explosives toward a Russian military or police installation.

Other Russian sources report at least 60 Russian troops were killed and about 100 injured.

Chechen separatist spokesman Movladi Udugov says hundreds of Russian soldiers were killed and that Moscow is trying to cover up the losses.

Last week, Russian generals said the war in Chechnya was almost over. But Russian casualties since those statements have been the highest in months.