Russia: March 2, 2000

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  A Russian police convoy traveling five kilometers northwest of Grozny was ambushed by rebels. Twenty Russians were killed and 29 injured. Several rebels were also killed and injured. This was one of the highest one day losses suffered so far (deaths have averaged less then ten per day and injured less than 25 a day.) The area had been swept several times by Russian troops and declared safe. But the rebels are still able to blend into the civilian population, and travel freely at night, and, during the day, in the more remote areas as well. Thus the Russian tendency to round up all adult Chechen males whenever there is a problem. The Russians have also been using technology to fight the rebels. Electronic warfare units monitor electronic communications (radio and walkie-talkie) used by the rebels, and high tech airborne sensors to find rebel bases. But the rebels are resourceful. Communications use codes and rebels themselves are moving in among the population.  Fighting continued in the Argun gorge, with perhaps a thousand rebels still resisting Russian attempts to clear the area. In Kosovo, a Russian soldier became the first member of KFOR to die dealing with the ethnic violence that continues.

 

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