CHECHEN, FEDERAL TROOPS CLASH SOUTH OF GROZNY
Federal forces clashed with Chechen fighters near Serzhen-Yurt, southeast of Grozny, on 21 December, AP reported quoting the commander of the eastern sector, Lieutenant General Gennadii Troshev. Fighting continued on 22 December at the mouth of the Shatoi gorcge that leads southwards into the Caucasus mountains. Aslanbek Ismailov, who commands the Chechen forces defending Grozny, said that Russian units are engaged in daily fighting all around the encircled capital. Air and artillery bombardment of Grozny continued on 21 December, and artillery fire overnight was the heaviest for 10 days, Reuters reported quoting Grozny Mayor Lecha Dudaev. LF
CHECHEN PRESIDENT SUMMONED OVER KILLINGS OF RUSSIAN VILLAGERS
The North Caucasus branch of the Russian Prosecutor-General's office has summoned Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov for questioning in connection with the deaths of some 34 Russians in Chechnya, ITAR-TASS and Interfax reported on 21 December. The residents of the village of Mikenskaya were reportedly shot dead on 8 October. Their bodies were exhumed when federal forces liberated the village and witnesses to the shootings are being questioned. LF
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