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|Monday, August 07, 2000, updated at 08:56(GMT+8)|
Russia Says 22 Rebels Killed Near GroznyScores of Chechen rebels were killed in artillery strikes by federal forces outside the capital Grozny Sunday, according to Russian officials.
The bodies of 22 militants were found at the scene of shelling, however officials said a band of up to 100 rebels had been wiped out.
Russian soldiers in Grozny had been on high alert following reports that rebels were planning a new offensive for Sunday, which marked the anniversary of the day in 1996 when insurgents retook Grozny from Russian troops in the previous Chechen war.
Meanwhile, a Russian military helicopter was forced to land near the village of Arshty, near Ingushetia, after coming under rebel fire during take-off.
One serviceman on board the aircraft was seriously injured.
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