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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Chechen Rebel Attacks Kill 9 Russian Soldiers

NAZRAN, Southern Russia — Rebels in Chechnya struck at Russian forces in a series of attacks in and around the regional capital of Grozny, killing nine servicemen and leading authorities to ban civilian traffic, an official said Tuesday.

Russian forces have occupied most of the rebellious region, but have not been able to stamp out resistance from small bands of independence fighters who stage hit-and-run attacks on checkpoints and along roads.

The latest attacks, which took place in the previous 24 hours, were mostly in Grozny and its outskirts as well as in the towns of Alkhan-Kala and Alkhan-Yurt about 10 kilometers southwest of Grozny, said an official in the pro-Moscow Chechen administration in the town of Gudermes. He spoke on condition of anonymity.

Information about the number of soldiers wounded in the attacks was not immediately available.

All civilian traffic was banned along the main roads of the republic, the official said. Many officials and employees of the local civilian administration took refuge at Russian military bases after hearing that they may be targeted by rebels. The rebels have sometimes killed Chechens who cooperate with Russian forces.

Russia has struggled to establish a credible pro-Moscow Chechen political force, with limited success.

Chechen guerrillas drove federal forces out of the province, which has a record of resistance to Russian rule dating back to the czarist era, in a 1994-96 war. Russian troops went back last year after militants based in Chechnya raided villages in the neighboring region of Dagestan, and after apartment bombings killed some 300 people in Russia.

The government says the bombings were the work of Chechen terrorists, but rebel leaders deny involvement.