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Chechnya: Separatists Kill Nine Russian Troops

Vladikavkaz, Russia; 13 October 2003 (RFE/RL) -- The long, bloody stalemate between Russian troops and Chechen separatists continued in the breakaway republic of Chechnya today, with guerrillas killing nine soldiers and Russian artillery pounding suspected rebel positions in several areas of the republic. The Associated Press quoted an unnamed official in the Kremlin-backed Chechen administration as saying five of those were killed in Shatoi District. The other four soldiers were killed in various other attacks in the region during the last 24 hours.

Meanwhile in Moscow, the president of Ingushetia today denied that Chechen refugees are being forced out of camps in that neighboring republic.

Murat Zyazikov said that claims by human rights groups that refugees were forced to leave the camps before this month's elections in Chechnya are "simply not true."