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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Landmine Kills 6 in Chechnya

A landmine blew up and killed six people travelling in Chechnya, east of the capital Grozny, Tuesday, Interfax reported, citing police.

Three of the dead were civilians, the others were members of the OMON Interior Ministry special forces, the agency quoted police in the breakaway Russian republic as saying.

The explosion occured around 2:30 p.m. on a main road near the village of Novogroznenskoye, Interfax said.

Separately, Itar-Tass reported that Russian troops said they had killed five separatists in a rebel camp near the village of Kharsenoy.

The incidents came the day after Russian President Vladimir Putin announced he was withdrawing most of the 80,000 Russian troops stationed in the breakaway republic.

An army division of some 15,000 men and 7,000 interior ministry troops would remain, he said.

Russian soldiers were ordered back into Chechnya in October 1999 to end lawlessness there and crush separatists, three years after a humiliating retreat by Moscow's forces which left the republic with de facto independence.