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|Thursday, June 29, 2000, updated at 10:51(GMT+8)|
Russia Says It Destroys Large Mercenary Group in South ChechnyaThe Russian special forces destroyed a large rebel group, comprising mainly Arab mercenaries, during a reconnaissance operation in South Chechnya on Wednesday, the Interfax news agency reported.
The operation was conducted by the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) and the Main Intelligence Service in the region of Benoi and Tsa-Vedeno, the report cited the FSB public relations center as saying.
Sixty militants, 55 of whom were identified as Arab mercenaries, were killed by federal air strikes. Now a mopping-up action is underway in the combat area, the center was quoted as saying.
"The remaining rebels are now being pursued, they speak only Arabic when contacting each other by radio," it said.
The FSB and Main Intelligence Service special units suffered no losses during the operation, according to the center.
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