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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

2 Fierce Clashes Erupt in Grozny

GROZNY — Two clashes between federal forces and separatist fighters broke out in Grozny over the weekend, local residents said.

An armored personnel carrier exploded on a land mine Saturday and shooting followed, then about four hours later a clash erupted in the city's west, witnesses said. The local residents said they saw corpses at both sites, but details could not be confirmed.

Although federal forces entered the city more than a year ago, forcing hundreds of rebels to flee, insurgents have returned and launch near-daily small attacks.

"I have a feeling that soon there will be severe fighting here," said a soldier manning a Grozny checkpoint, who gave his name only as Igor. "Our checkpoint will be on its own; nobody will help us."

Military aircraft rocketed suspected rebel positions in the mountainous southern region of Vedeno and the Itum-Kale district on Chechnya's border with Georgia. Artillery shelled suspected insurgent bases in the Kurchaloi region and Nozhai-Yurt, said an official with the pro-Moscow Chechen government.

At least nine soldiers died in various attacks over the past day, the official said Saturday.