Fighting Intensifies In Chechnya

Fighting between rebels and Russian troops erupted in the center of the Chechen capital Monday, and residents were fleeing another town where 150 Russian soldiers were holed up in a police station in some of the fiercest fighting in months.

Rebels attacked Gudermes, 20 miles east of the capital, Grozny, on Thursday in an attempt to thwart Russian-imposed elections for a new leader of the secessionist republic.

In Grozny, rebels and Russian troops fought with machine guns and grenades in the center of town, about 500 yards from the Russian administration building, the Interfax news agency reported.

In Gudermes, more than 150 Russian troops inside the commandant’s office were surrounded by several hundred well-armed Chechen fighters, the ITAR-Tass news agency said.

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