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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016


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Fighting Closes In On Grozny

Fighting reached the capital of the self-declared Caucasian republic of Chechnya over the weekend for the first time since opposition forces made a bid to oust President Dzhokar Dudayev from power in June. Sources close to the Provisional Council claimed Saturday it had seized control of districts in the east and northwest of Grozny but had postponed an assault on the center to avoid too many casualties, Itar-Tass reported. Zaindi Choltayev, head of the administration of the Provisional Council, told Interfax the attack was an ""armed reconnaissance"" which demonstrated they could take the city at any time. He said pleas from elders and religious leaders persuaded them to try to settle the conflict peacefully. Dudayev declared on television Sunday the attack had been repulsed. He told Tass, ""Grozny was not attacked by the opposition -- there is no opposition in the republic -- but by Russian armed forces and traitors to Chechnya's national interests."" Accounts of casualties varied.

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