Mopping-Up Operation Is Under Way In Argun
Russia's federal forces have launched a special military operation in Argun to track down criminals who attempted the life of Chechen administration head Akhmad Kadyrov. Kadyrov's motorcade came under fire in Argun on Tuesday, RIA Novosti news agency reported. The attackers used ruins as an ambush and then managed to escape.
Kadyov's bodyguards opened fire in response. Three of them were wounded in the skirmish. A criminal case has been open.
Kadyrov told journalists he believed the attack was ordered by Chechen rebels' leaders. According to the official, Chechen separatists are angry about his firm position against possible peace talks between rebels and Moscow.
Russia withdrew its troops from Chechnya in 1996, but the army returned in September 1999, after incursions by Chechen rebels into neighbouring Dagestan and the deaths of some 300 people in apartment bombings that Russian officials blamed on rebels.
More than two years into so-called "anti terrorist" campaign, Moscow has established nominal control over the republic, but its troops come under regular attack from Chechen rebels who have split up into small groups hiding in mountains.