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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Group of Rebels Tries to Cross Into North Ossetia

ReutersWomen taking a break Wednesday from cleaning around a gutted house in Grozny.
VLADIKAVKAZ, North Ossetia -- Federal forces on Thursday battled a group of Chechen rebels who were heading from Ingushetia toward North Ossetia, the North Ossetian Interior Ministry said.

Ministry spokesman Alan Doyev said the military pushed the group of about 10 rebels back into Ingushetia's forested mountains near the village of Galashki. There was no report on casualties.

Officials in both North Ossetia and Ingushetia said the fighting ended later Thursday, in an apparent indication that the rebels had fled.

Chechen rebels have mounted similar incursions into regions neighboring Chechnya and launched suicide bomb attacks as part of their campaign to push federal forces out of Chechnya.

Interior Minister Boris Gryzlov said Thursday that the authorities would tighten security in Moscow to prevent terror attacks, the Interfax-Military News Agency reported. "Controls will be tighter and more thorough at public events, airports, stadiums and everywhere it's necessary," he said.

Gryzlov suggested that organizers of public events should assume full responsibility for the security of the audience.

In Chechnya, at least seven federal troops were killed in the latest rebel shellings and mine explosions since Wednesday, said an official with the Moscow-appointed Chechen civilian administration.

Unidentified attackers also broke into the house of Daman Dashiyev, the head of the local administration in the village of Prigorodnoye, and shot him at point-blank range, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. Dashiyev was hospitalized in critical condition.

Federal forces killed five rebels in a clash in the southern Shali region Wednesday, military officials said.

In Grozny, a teenager was killed as he attempted to set up a landmine, said the Emergency Situations Ministry branch for southern Russia.