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UPDATED: 10:02, August 22, 2004
Rebels attack Chechen police station, several people killed
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Several people were killed and a few others wounded when rebels attacked a police station in the capital of Russia's breakaway Chechen republic on Saturday, Russian news agencies reported, citing officials.

"Several guerrillas were destroyed. There are losses among servicemen, too," Ilya Shabalkin, spokesman for the Russian forces in the North Caucasus, told Interfax.

Interfax said that rebels opened fire at the police station from a passing car. Seven people, including five police officers, were killed.

Ramzan Kadyrov, vice-premier with responsibility for security and son of slain former Chechen President Akhmad Kadyrov, told Interfax four more policemen were killed when rebels attacked polling stations set up ahead of early presidential elections next Sunday to elect a president as successor to his father.

Chechnya, a war-torn republic in Russia's Northern Caucasus, won a status of defacto independence in 1996 after the pullout of Russian troops.

Russian troops re-entered the lawless region in September 1999 following attacks by Chechnya-based fighters in a neighboring region and a series of deadly bombings blamed on the rebels.

Since then, the guerrilla war between Chechen rebels and Russian forces has continued to claim lives almost on a daily basis and occasionally spread into neighboring regions.

Source: Xinhua

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