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Militant killed in Chechnya firefight, arms cache found

GROZNY, August 12 (RIA Novosti) - A gunman has been killed in a firefight with police forces in central Chechnya, the republic's Interior Ministry said Saturday.

A police unit conducting a reconnaissance operation in the mountains in the Shali district, about 12 miles southeast of Grozny, engaged a militant who offered resistance, the ministry said.

Local police officers also found an arms cache near the village of Chechen-aul in the Grozny district with about 200 kilograms of explosives.

Following the July 10 killing of terrorist no.1 Shamil Basayev, who claimed responsibility for the 2004 Beslan school massacre and other atrocities, the Kremlin announced a chance for militants to lay down their arms and return to a peaceful life. The original deadline was set for August 1 but was extended until September 30. A total of 88 gunmen have taken advantage of the offer.

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