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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Gunmen Kidnap Reporter in Grozny

A correspondent of the Itar-Tass news agency has been kidnapped in Chechnya by gunmen who broke into his home, agency officials said Monday.

Sayed Isayev was taken from his home in the Chechen capital of Grozny on Sunday, Itar-Tass said. The news agency provided no other details, including whether anyone had claimed responsibility for the abduction.

Itar-Tass Director General Vitaly Ignatenko appealed to Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov to help find the correspondent and secure his release.

Scores of people, including several journalists, have been kidnapped in Chechnya in recent years, mainly by armed gangs seeking ransoms. The small republic has been hit by a crime wave since it broke away from Russia in 1996 after a 21-month independence war.

Nikolai Zagnoiko of Itar-Tass was kidnapped in Chechnya in March 1997 with three other Russian journalists. They were released in June 1997 and Itar-Tass said no ransom was paid.