Russia: March 11, 2003


About 1,000 rebels are still in the Chechen highlands of the Nozhai-Yurt and Vedeno districts, slipping down from their hideouts to plant mines along federal convoy routes or perpetrate terrorist acts against the local administration and pro-Moscow civilians. The locals are apparently sick of having their daily lives scrambled by the non-Chechen Arab "rebels" and helped local authorities find a command detonated mine made from three 122-mm shells hidden near a recently built Argun River bridge on the federal highway. The bridge supports traffic along the entire Trans-Caucasian highway, including Chechnya.

Between March 3 and 10, the rebels blew up nine armored vehicles. Russian sappers also defused over 170 explosive devices (including 19 powerful command detonated landmines) in the Gudermes, Kurchaloi and Shali districts, as well as in the city of Grozny. The rebels also fired at federal positions 27 times and shot up four military convoys during that time period. - Adam Geibel 


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