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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Pro-Moscow Chechens Accuse Federal Troops of Fresh Attacks

Pro-Moscow authorities in Chechnya accused federal troops Wednesday of new attacks on civilians while the justice minister arrived in the region to look into allegations of human rights violations by the military.

Troops in armored vehicles raided the village of Raduzhnoye, just west of Grozny, early Wednesday, grabbed a Chechen driver and his son from their beds and drove them away, said Grozny city government spokesman Ruslan Martagov.

Later, soldiers opened fire on a civilian car, and pools of blood were found on the site, Martagov said, according to Interfax. The fate of the car's passengers, two Raduzhnoye residents, was not known.

"All the roads leading to Raduzhnoye have been blocked by the military. No one knows what is going on there," Martagov was quoted by Interfax as saying.

He said village residents, in turn, then blocked a major road in the area to protest against "illegal detentions."

The military command had no immediate comment on Wednesday's incident, which followed allegations that troops went on the rampage during security sweeps of three Chechen villages earlier this month, looting and beating residents.

President Vladimir Putin's special human rights envoy in Chechnya, Vladimir Kalamanov, said Wednesday he will travel to Chechnya next week to investigate some 220 complaints of military brutality received over the past few days, Itar-Tass reported.

Justice Minister Yury Chaika, meanwhile, arrived in Chechnya on Wednesday for a two-day visit to discuss the republic's human rights situation. Chaika was to confer with the pro-Moscow leader of Chechnya, Akhmad Kadyrov, as well as with representatives of international bodies working there.