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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Shells Strike Chechen Village, 2 Injured

VLADIKAVKAZ, North Ossetia -- Several artillery shells exploded in a Chechen village, injuring two residents and prompting local calls for an immediate investigation into the source of the attack, an official said Thursday.

Meanwhile, a Chechen government official warned that the security system had completely broken down at a Radon radioactive waste storage facility in Chechnya. Temirsolat Edilbekov, an envoy for the Chechen Natural Resources Committee, told Interfax that radioactive materials were at risk of being stolen and secreted out of the site.

"The enterprise has received no financing for more than 10 years ... anybody can freely enter the territory of the facility and take away radiation sources," he said.

Russian officials have said that it will require $3 billion to restore normal life to Chechnya.

Federal troops have long said that the current 2 1/2-year-old war is largely complete, and reconstruction is now under way. But federal forces and rebels continue to engage in daily skirmishes, and much of the reconstruction work remains undone.

The artillery attack on the village of Alkhazurovo in the Urus-Martan district overnight destroyed the power line and transformer facilities, leaving the village residents without electricity, said an official in the pro-Moscow Chechen administration. The roofs of four homes were also destroyed, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

One of the two injured is currently being treated for life-threatening wounds in a local hospital, the official said.

"The attack could have resulted in more casualties if the shells had hit a more densely populated area of the village," Shirvani Yasayev, head of the local administration, told Interfax.

Federal forces denied shelling the village. An investigation was immediately opened.

Meanwhile, federal troops lost eight servicemen and officers in the last 24 hours in rebel ambushes and booby-trapped land mine explosions, the official said.

In the town of Vedeno, a military truck traveling in a convoy of 10 vehicles was exploded by a remote-controlled land mine, the official said. One servicemen was killed and 12 were wounded.

A federal unit also clashed with a group of rebels near the village of Akhtury in the Kurchaloi district early Thursday. Two rebels were killed in the clash, which prompted federal troops to immediately seal the village and conduct a sweep operation to detain anyone suspected of aiding the rebels, the official said.

Military forces conducted bombing raids on suspected rebel bases in the Nozhai-Yurt and Kurchaloi districts and shelled suspected rebel positions in the Kurchaloi, Achkhoi-Martan and Urus-Martan districts.