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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Chechen separatists kill 7 Russian police

MOSCOW, Nov 8 (Reuters) - Chechen separatists killed seven Russian police in an ambush in southern Chechnya, one of the deadliest attacks on federal forces this year, a police spokesman said on Wednesday.

Russian news agencies said Tuesday's attack was near the village of Tai in the Shatoi region in the south of the territory. The police convoy was returning to base when the Chechens attacked.

"The ambush occurred on a difficult, winding piece of road in a mountainous area, giving the attackers the advantage," a spokesman for Russian police in Chechnya, Nikolai Varavin, said.

"It was an unexpected and well-planned attack."

Rebels have been fighting a second Chechen independence war against Russia since 1999. Large-scale fighting has now subsided after Russian forces pushed insurgents back into the mountains and separatist forces are resorting to hit and run tactics.

In July an ambush killed at least six Russian soldiers and injured around 20 more.

"This was one of the most serious attacks on Russian police this year," Varavin said of Tuesday's ambush. (Reporting by Tanya Ustinova)
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