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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Refugee Numbers Grow

GENEVA -- About 1,000 new refugees from fighting in southern Chechnya have arrived in neighboring Ingushetia during the past week and few Chechens are returning, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees said Tuesday.

"The Russians are lining up free transportation for people to go back to Chechnya, but very few actually go back,'' agency spokesman Kris Janowski said. Refugees are citing widespread devastation in the republic and fear of detention as reasons for staying put.

The continuing influx has prompted the Emergency Situations Ministry to ask UNHCR for 150 more tents and other material to accommodate the newcomers, Janowski said.

Ingushetia has taken in most of the approximately 250,000 refugees who have fled Chechnya. Some 214,000 people remain there, UNHCR says.