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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Rebels Continue to Hit Russian Forces in Grozny

NAZRAN, Russia - Chechen rebels still maintain a considerable presence in the capital Grozny and inflict near daily casualties there, even though Russian forces have controlled the city for a year, an official said Tuesday.

Over the past 24 hours, four Russian servicemen were killed and at least 26 Russian troops and pro-Moscow Chechen police were wounded in clashes in Grozny and around the republic, an official in Chechnya's pro-Moscow administration said.

In Grozny, a mine explosion blew up a Russian military truck, killing one soldier and wounding seven, the official said on condition of anonymity.

Insurgents also fired at two military trucks on the outskirts of the city Monday, wounding four Russian servicemen, the official said. The Chechen military commandant's office was also shelled from grenade launchers, and three troops from Chechnya's pro-Russian police were wounded, the official said.

Federal forces introduced a tight security regime in the capital after rebels abandoned it a year ago and carry out frequent sweeps for suspected rebels, but continue to suffer steady losses.

Russian military reconnaissance reports indicate that main rebel forces are concentrated in Grozny and the southern towns of Argun and Urus-Martan, the official said.

Russian military convoys also came under fire and struck mines in the southern regions of Vedeno and Argun, the official said. One Russian soldier was killed and at least four were wounded.

Russian checkpoints around Chechnya came under fire 18 times over the past 24 hours. Two Russian servicemen were killed and eight wounded, the official said.

Meanwhile, Russian artillery continued to pound the southern districts of Vedeno, Itum-Kale and Urus-Martan. The military reported that 12 rebels were killed during the bombardment of the Urus-Martan district.

Most large-scale fighting in Chechnya wound down last spring, but small hit-and-run attacks occur daily. Casualty figures cannot be independently confirmed.

The Russian military rolled into Chechnya in 1999 after rebels invaded a neighboring region and following four apartment bombings in Moscow and other cities that killed about 300 people. Russia's government blamed the rebels, but it has provided little concrete evidence.