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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Chechen Ambush

GROZNY (AP) -- Chechen President Alu Alkhanov said Monday authorities were investigating whether federal forces opened fire without provocation on a car in Chechnya, killing five people, including two presidential security officers.

Alkhanov said on Chechen state television that the gunfire apparently came from an armored personnel carrier assigned to a checkpoint between the village of Kurchaloi and Geldagan. The attack happened near the checkpoint Friday, he said.

"It does not matter to the population of the republic of Chechnya who has perpetrated this crime -- guerrillas or people wearing shoulder straps," Alkhanov said in televised remarks. "Crimes committed by the latter deliver a heavier blow to the Chechen people because they hope for their protection."

Alkhanov said the gunmen did not ask the passengers to produce any identification or make any other demands, although it was not immediately clear how he would know that.

NTV television broadcast footage of bloodied bodies lying in brush near the roadside.

Anti-Extremism Law

ALMATY, Kazakhstan (AP) -- Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarabayev signed a contentious anti-extremism bill into law Monday, his office said.

Human rights groups say the legislation could be used to restrict religious and civil freedoms. Nazarbayev's office said the bill aims to prevent religious, political and other forms of extremism.

The bill, which was approved by parliament earlier this month, names political parties and media among potential sources of extremism.

New Foreign Minister

TALLINN, Estonia (Reuters) -- Estonia's president approved Rein Lang as the Baltic state's new foreign minister on Monday, resolving a political impasse that at one stage threatened the survival of the center-right coalition government.

Lang, 47, a businessman and veteran politician with strongly pro-European Union and business views, replaces Kristiina Ojuland, who was sacked after confidential government documents went missing from her ministry.