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Russia: Mass Grave Discovered In Chechnya

Moscow, 9 September 2002 (RFE/RL) -- The Russian human rights group Memorial and separatist Chechens have said in unrelated statements that a mass grave containing the bodies of people who had been arrested by Russian troops has been discovered on the border between Chechnya and Ingushetia. Memorial said today that the bodies of 15 people were discovered on 6 September at a location that had earlier been controlled by Russian troops.

Memorial said the bodies had been identified and all were Chechen men who had been arrested by Russian troops this spring.

The press office of Chechen separatist leader Aslan Maskhadov released a public statement listing the names of the same men identified by Memorial. Maskhadov's office said the 15 were arrested during a so-called "mopping-up" operation by Russian troops in northwestern Chechnya.

In a separate development, the United Nations today said it has decided to resume operations in Chechnya, after a hiatus of more than a month.