Chechnya clash leaves 9 dead, 18 wounded

Chechnya clash leaves 9 dead, 18 wounded

The Russian Interior Ministry said four of its officers were killed and 16 wounded during a clash with militants in the mountains of southern Chechnya.

Ministry spokesman Valentin Kalyuzhny said yesterday that five militants also were killed and two wounded. The Interior Ministry said the firefight broke out Jan. 8 when one of its battalions working with local police came upon a group of about 10 militants, but as darkness fell the surviving militants were able to slip away. Kalyuzhny said troops resumed their search for the militants yesterday, the Associated Press reported.

Chechnya fought two wars for independence against Moscow in the 1990s but has become relatively quiet in recent years as the insurgency has largely spread to neighboring republics in Russia’s Caucasus.

Explosion in Moscow

Meanwhile, at least two people have been killed as a result of an explosion in an Italian restaurant in southwest Moscow, the Russia Today website reported. Twenty six more have reportedly been injured.
The blast damaged the roof and walls of the building and set it ablaze. The Russian Emergency Ministry reported that gas canisters located in the restaurant’s kitchen exploded. The blast blew out windows and caused the walls and roof to collapse.