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Chechnya: Nine Russian Soldiers Killed In Bomb Attack

Moscow, 22 August 2003 (RFE/RL) -- Nine Russian soldiers were killed by a bomb that exploded close to their vehicle near Grozny. Interfax says the remote-controlled bomb was hidden in a car on a side of the road and went off as a column of military vehicles drove by yesterday.

Another two soldiers were injured in the attack.

Chechen separatists have stepped up attacks on Russian forces ahead of presidential elections due to take place in early October in the breakaway republic.

Meanwhile, in the Caucasian town of Pyatigorsk, an apparent attempt today to assassinate the mayor of that southern Russian town failed, but a blast set off by a remote-controlled explosive devise wounded the driver of the mayor's car.

A duty officer of the Emergency Situations Ministry in Pyatigorsk said the explosion took place near the home of Mayor Yuri Vasilyev. He was not in the car.

Police have started an investigation into the incident.