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Chechnya: Russia Says Security Measures Successful

Moscow, 7 September (RFE/RL) - A Russian military commander in Chechnya today said extra security measures imposed yesterday on the separatist republic were successful. Yesterday was the ninth anniversary of the republic's self-proclaimed independence. General Ivan Babichev said that as a result of the measures Chechen fighters failed to capture populated areas or under take terrorist acts as predicted. Babichev said however that the Russian armed forces still are on high alert throughout the republic.

Grozny and the second city Gudermes were yesterday effectively under a state of curfew, with all vehicular traffic banned and special security units deployed on key roads.

But the ITAR-TASS news agency said a soldier was killed in Gudermes in a mine explosion.

The agencies quote Russian commanders as saying that more than 40 Chechens have been killed in the last 24 hours.

None of those claims could be independently verified.