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    SPECIAL FORCES PURSUE MILITANTS IN CHECHNYA

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    GROZNY, April 14 (RIA Novosti) -Spetsnaz (special purpose forces) of the federal forces are pursuing a bandit group of 30 militants who killed policemen and peaceful citizens in the Gudermes district. This information was disclosed to RIA Novosti on Wednesday in the regional operational staff for controlling the counter terrorist operation in the North Caucasus.

    "Yesterday, spetsnaz began searching for and pursuing members of the bandit group who are trying to move to the republic's southeast in the mountains," a spokesman for the staff pointed out.

    According to him, the bandit group has two parts, one of which is headed by Rapani Khalilov, who is directly subordinate to Shamil Basayev. The second part is commanded by Avtorkhanov, who is subordinate to Aslan Maskhadov.

    The militants acted wearing the uniform of servicemen of the federal forces and, when leaving the Gudermes district, burnt three UAZ cars they used.

    The source said that missile-bomb strikes were delivered at the places in the forests where the bandits could hide. The Defense Ministry's special forces search groups were sent there.

    On April 13, a gang of 20 militants in camouflage uniforms who had automatic weapons shot a local policeman in the street in the Ishkhoi-Yurt settlement of the Gudermes district. Then the bandits burst into the house of a staff member of the republican president's security service, and beat him and a policeman who was there.

    At 10:00 p.m., Moscow time, local citizens saw, on the outskirts of the settlement, the body of an unknown man in police uniform.

    At 9:30 p.m., the same bandits shot from automatic weapons Zhiguli and Volga cars with policemen and local citizens on a highway.

    Five policemen and one local inhabitant, whose personality is being identified, were killed.

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