Chechen fighters resist 1500 Russians | News | Al Jazeera

Chechen fighters resist 1500 Russians

A battle between Chechen separatists and Russian troops raged for a third day in eastern Chechnya on Tuesday, ahead of a controversial presidential poll in the war-torn republic.

    Alleroy is the birthplace of Maskhadov

    At least two soldiers were killed when the firefight first broke out at dawn near the town of Alleroy on Sunday, after a remote-control bomb exploded in front of a military column, a spokesman with the Russian Interior Ministry said.

      

    Four soldiers were wounded and taken to a hospital at a Russian military base north of the capital Grozny, he said.

      

    Access barred

     

    Following the explosion, the column was bombarded with grenades and returned fire, he said.

      

    By Tuesday morning, about 1500 soldiers had been sent to the area to crush the 40 fighters the military said were holed up there.

      

    The Russian military said three soldiers and 13 fighters were killed, but the separatists said six soldiers and two fighters died in the fighting.

      

    Access to the area has been barred.

     

    The town of Alleroy is the birthplace of Aslan Maskhadov, a  separatist commander who fought Russian forces during the first Chechen war in 1994-1996, and who was elected president of a de facto independent Chechnya in 1997.

      

    Since Russian troops poured back into Chechnya in October 1999, Moscow has labelled Maskhadov a "terrorist" and refused to talk with him.

      

    The fighting takes place just days in advance of a Kremlin-organised presidential election in the republic, which Moscow is touting as proof that the bloody conflict in the republic is over. 

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    America's Guns: Secret Pipeline to Syria

    America's Guns: Secret Pipeline to Syria

    How has the international arms trade exacerbated conflict in the Middle East? People and Power investigates.

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    In 1959, a year before Nigeria's independence, a 23-year-old student helped colour the country's identity.