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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Serviceman Killed in Chechnya

GROZNY — One serviceman was killed and two others were wounded along with several civilians in a series of Sunday rebel attacks in Chechnya, Itar-Tass reported.

All the attacks took place in Gudermes, the rebel republic's second-largest city and the headquarters of the Kremlin-backed civilian administration, the report said, citing the Russian Interior Ministry's Chechnya office.

Rebels opened fire on Interior Ministry units near one of the city's hospital in the morning and the shooting continued until sunset, the report said. One Interior Ministry serviceman was reported killed.

Two others were wounded in an attack on a military checkpoint, and several civilians were wounded when a landmine exploded at a cafe in Gudermes, Itar-Tass said.

Large-scale fighting in Chechnya ended last spring, but in the months since then the insurgents have mounted near-daily small attacks on Russian positions.

Russian troops withdrew from Chechnya in 1996 at the end of a 20-month war against separatists, but returned to the republic in September 1999 in the wake of rebel incursions into neighboring Dagestan and the deaths of some 300 people in apartment bombings that Russian officials blamed on the rebels.

Also Sunday, Russian forces encircled the town of Urus-Martan, about 25 kilometers south of the capital, Grozny, and were conducting house-to-house searches. Russian soldiers said the operation was to look for Kenny Gluck, an American worker with the aid group Medecins Sans Frontieres, who was kidnapped by unknown armed men on Jan. 9.