Russia: August 15, 2005


  Violence in Chechnya has picked up, as police and troops increase their operations against rebel areas. In the last 24 hours, five rebels, two Chechen policemen and a Russian soldier were killed. The rebel cause has become pretty hopeless, but the remaining rebel gangs include several that have allied themselves with al Qaeda, and are willing to fight to the death. These al Qaeda groups have also recruited new members among Moslems in neighboring regions in the Caucasus. This has not produced a large number of Islamic terrorists, perhaps a few hundred. But these rebels are a dangerous bunch, continuing to fight with police and plan terrorist attacks. 


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