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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

11/20/1999

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Rights Group: Refugee Path Fired On

Russian forces often fire on a busy highway used by refugees fleeing Chechnya, and troops have demanded bribes to allow civilians out of the war zone, a human rights group said. Despite mounting criticism in the West, Russia has not scaled back its military operation in Chechnya, carrying out 60 air raids Thursday in spite of foggy weather. However, bad weather and poor visibility forced the Russians to ground their war planes Friday, the military said. Human Rights Watch, a New York-based group, issued a report Thursday detailing the dangers faced by the more than 200,000 Chechen civilians who have left since the Russian campaign began in August. The Russian forces regularly fire on Chechnya's east-west highway, the main escape route for the vast majority of the civilians who are now living in neighboring Ingushetia, the report said.

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