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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

6 Troops Killed in Chechen Ambush

NAZRAN, Ingushetia — Rebels ambushed a police convoy on a wooded road in eastern Chechnya, prompting a 30-minute shootout that left six federal servicemen dead, officials said Wednesday.

In one of the bloodiest days in the year-old Chechnya war, eight more servicemen were killed in rebel attacks on checkpoints and administrative buildings in the region over the past 24 hours, said an official with Chechnya’s pro-Moscow administration in Gudermes.

In the convoy ambush near Kurchaloi, the troops called for backup, and helicopters swooped in and rained missiles on suspected rebel escape routes. But the rebels managed to get away, and it was unclear whether they suffered any losses, the official said on condition of anonymity.

Paratrooper units were sent to the region Wednesday.

While Moscow claims to control most of Chechnya, rebels mount daily attacks that inflict mounting casualties.

In a dramatic mishap that demonstrated how volatile the region remains, federal troops accidentally shot at the convoy carrying the head of Chechnya’s pro-Moscow government, Akhmad Kadyrov, on Tuesday night.

No one was hurt in the incident near Bachi-Yurt, 30 kilometers north of the government seat in Gudermes, the official said. Kadyrov, in a Volga sedan accompanied by an armored personnel carrier, apparently drove into a shootout between federal troops and rebels in the nearby woods, the official said.

Meanwhile, a suicide bomber on Tuesday detonated 1 kilogram of TNT strapped to his body in central Gudermes, in front of the government headquarters and a school, Itar-Tass and Interfax reported. No one other than the bomber was hurt.

A top commander said Wednesday that there were no plans to withdraw troops any time soon. "The situation does not allow us to reduce our presence," Colonel General Mikhail Labunets, deputy commander of the Interior Ministry force in Chechnya, was quoted as saying by Interfax.