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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Exiting Chechen Rebels Clash With Russian Border Guards

GROZNY -- Clashes raged in Chechnya on Friday between Russian border guards and a group of Chechen rebels who were trying to leave the separatist republic for a neighboring area.


At least four Russian soldiers were reported killed in a second day of violence along the regional border with Dagestan as the war in Chechnya continued to flare despite a 4-week-old partial peace accord.


With tensions high, Itar-Tass rang alarm bells with a report that a group of Chechen fighters had seized a building in a Russian-controlled town east of Grozny, the second such attack in less than a week. The report quoted Russia's military commander in Chechnya, General Anatoly Romanov.


Four hours later, however, after top Russian officials said the report did "not correspond to reality," Itar-Tass acknowledged without explanation that its report was false and there was no such attack in Gudermes.


The report came only days after a rebel takeover of a Russian-administered police station in nearby Argun, which prompted a fierce Russian assault on the town the next day that killed several people.


On the Dagestan border, meanwhile, fighting between rebels and Russian border troops began Thursday night and continued Friday.


The Chechens seized five other Russian servicemen in the fighting, said Andrei Alyoshin, spokesman for the federal border guards.


The July 30 military accord, which called for Russian forces to begin withdrawing from Chechnya and for rebels to disarm, was hailed by leaders of both sides as the beginning of the end of hostilities. But shooting has continued and some Chechen fighters have said they will never disarm.


"President Boris Yeltsin is extremely dissatisfied with how disarmament is proceeding," Yeltsin's press secretary, Sergei Medvedev, said in Moscow.