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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Chechen Women Stage Protest

APA woman showing missing relatives.
GROZNY -- Dozens of anguished women who lost relatives during the rebel war in Chechnya demanded on Wednesday that authorities do more to find and punish those responsible for allegedly killing or abducting them.

More than 100 women turned out for the demonstration in the center of war-ravaged Grozny, carrying photos of missing relatives -- mostly young men.

Abductions have been common in the republic for years, with civilians and rights groups blaming Russian troops and rebels as well as security forces under the command of the pro-Moscow Chechen government.

Osma Novruzova, 54, said "military men" came to her house on July 14, 2003 and took away her 30-year-old son, a driver for a local television station.

She said her attempts to get information from government and law enforcement officials about why her son was taken or where he was had been fruitless.

"I've come to the conclusion that nobody cares about our troubles and that the authorities just need us to vote in the elections that are held in our republic from time to time," she said.

Another demonstrator, 45-year-old Khabila Aidamirova, said that military forces stopped a car in 2000 carrying four relatives, including her 8-year-old nephew, and shot them all to death. She said authorities had done nothing to find out who was responsible or punish them.