News in Brief

Two Killed in Chechnya

ROSTOV-ON-DON -- A serviceman and a local policeman were killed in a battle with rebels in Chechnya, officials said Monday.

The clash occurred late Sunday when a group of federal servicemen and local police were conducting a security sweep in the Nozhai-Yurt region in southern Chechnya's mountains and encountered a group of rebels. Another two local police officers were wounded and two militants were killed in the ensuing gunbattle, the Chechen branch of Interior Ministry said.

In Vladikavkaz, the capital of the republic of North Ossetia, the chief of staff for the regional president and the head of a local university were shot and wounded in two separate attacks Sunday, police said in a statement. The attackers fled. (AP)

Chinese Helping in Search

BEIJING -- Chinese rescue teams were helping the hunt for a Russian ship with 17 crewmembers that went missing in the East China Sea last week, Chinese state media reported Monday.

China's Ministry of Communications was informed Thursday that the ship, en route from the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido to Hong Kong, was missing about 393 kilometers east of Shanghai.

"The Chinese search center launched emergency rescue plans for the missing crew and tried to use maritime satellites to locate the vessel, but no clues have been found," China's Xinhua news agency said, citing a statement from the Foreign Ministry.

Maritime authorities across east China have coordinated vessels to assist the search, the report said. (Reuters)