Russia: January 12, 2001

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Russian troops in Chechnya conducted raids seeking a kidnapped American aid worker. Rebels have denied any role in the kidnapping and it is quite possible the snatch was the work of local gangsters. No ransom demands have been made yet. It is feared that, if it is gangsters, that the high profile victim will killed to get the heat off the kidnappers. In Georgia, police freed two people kidnapped by Chechen rebels.