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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

News in Brief

Refugee Camps Closed

GROZNY -- Chechnya's government said Thursday that it had closed the first of dozens of refugee camps in the region despite sporadic fighting between federal forces and rebels.

A firefight in Grozny killed two rebels and injured two policemen.

Chechnya's government said 440 out of an estimated 57,000 refugees had been re-housed and that new housing would be found for the rest by the end of the year. (AP)

Bodies of 4 Climbers Found

Rescuers have recovered the bodies of four climbers who fell during an ascent in the mountains of southern Siberia, officials said Thursday.

The four had fallen as a group while climbing Sunday near the Lake Pazaryk waterfalls in the republic of Khakasia, said Sergei Andriyenko, a Siberian regional emergency official.

Federal Emergency Situations Ministry spokesman Viktor Beltsov said one of the climbers apparently died immediately; the three others died later of severe injuries and exposure. (AP)

EU Ratifies New Visa Rules

The European Parliament on Thursday ratified two agreements between Russia and the European Union that ease visa requirements for some travelers and spell out terms for the return of illegal immigrants, Interfax reported.

The State Duma had approved the agreements in a unanimous vote on Wednesday. They require the further approval of the Federation Council and President Vladimir Putin's signature.

The agreements were originally signed during a Russia-EU summit in May 2006. (MT)

Dagestani Politician Injured

Unidentified gunmen opened fire on a car in Dagestan on Wednesday, wounding a provincial political party leader who is running in upcoming elections, police said.

Eduard Khidirov, secretary of the Patriots of Russia party's branch in Dagestan, was riding in a Mercedes that came under attack in Makhachkala. (AP)