From: MSN NicknameEagle_wng (Original Message) Sent: 2/14/2008 12:01 PM
6 police officers wounded in attack by militants near Chechnya, officials say
Released : Thursday, February 14, 2008 2:02 PM
NAZRAN, Russia-Unidentified gunmen fired at a police vehicle Thursday in a southern region that borders Chechnya, wounding six officers, officials said.
The attack occurred in Nazran, the main city of the province of Ingushetia west of Chechnya, when several militants fired at police from a passing car, said Svetlana Gorbakova, a spokeswoman for the regional branch of the federal Investigative Committee.
Major fighting in Chechnya, which saw two separatist wars in the past 13 years, ended years ago, but the region and neighboring provinces in Russia's North Caucasus are still plagued by violence, including militant hit-and-run raids on federal forces and local authorities.
Government critics attribute the growing number of attacks in the region, mostly against police, to anger fueled by abductions, beatings, unlawful arrests and killings of suspects by government forces and local allied paramilitaries.
In late January, hundreds of protesters angry with local authorities clashed with riot police after the government launched a roundup of suspected militants.
On Thursday, a group of masked gunmen in Nazran abducted Maksharip Aushev, a local resident who organized a protest rally last fall. The unidentified assailants drove Aushev in an unknown direction, his mother said. Aushev's brother-in-law was also abducted earlier in the day, according to his relatives.
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