Russian troops intercepted a rebel radio conversation confirming that nine Russian soldiers captured in a recent ambush were executed. Usually, the rebels do not take prisoners, partly because prisoners would slow them down as they fled Russian counterattacks. The rebels had planned to offer to trade the nine soldiers for a Russian colonel under arrest for raping and killing a Chechen woman. But rebel leader Khattab vetoed the idea and ordered the prisoners shot. Russia got wind of the offer and refused it.