An opposition website in southern Russia said more than 50 soldiers were killed by militias on Saturday in clashes that officials toldhad killed only two soldiers.
By Dario Thuburn, AFP
The Ingushetia.org website cited a local official from the interior ministry giving the casualty figure, which would represent one of the worst losses for Russian forces since the end of major combat operations in .
Russian commandos engage in military exercises near the border of South Ossetia and the restive southern region of Ingushetia in May. An opposition website in southern Russia has said more than 50 soldiers have been killed by militias in clashes that officials told Russian news agencies had killed only two soldiers.(AFP/File/Kazbek Basayev)
The website also quoted hospital sources and its own correspondent.
Russian officials inand in the province of where the clashes took place could not be reached for comment on the report.
Ingushetia, a mainly Muslim province neighbouring war-ravaged Chechnya, has been racked by a growing number of attacks against security forces that are frequently blamed on separatist rebels and Islamist fighters.
“A source from the Sunzhensky region interior ministry said around 50 soldiers were killed” in a single attack in which armoured personnel carriers and trucks were also destroyed, the Ingushetia.org website reported.
Five more soldiers were killed in two other attacks, the website said.
quoted local prosecutor Pavel Belyakov saying two interior ministry soldiers were killed and nine others were injured in an attack on a military column that was carried out by rebel fighters.
Officials earlier said two soldiers were killed and five injured.
“The situation in Ingushetia is under control,” Belyakov told Interfax, adding that Russian authorities had declared the area where the attack took place a “counter-terrorist operation zone.”
“A search of the area is currently taking place, the bandits who carried out the attack on a defence ministry military column are being tracked,” a spokesman for the armed forces in southern Russia, told Interfax.
Ingushetia.org said one attack occurred near the village of Galashki in which the 50 soldiers were killed, while another was on the road between the villages of Surkhakhi and Alkhasty where two more soldiers were killed.
There was also a third attack on a military column that had come as reinforcement to the road between Surkhakhi and Alkhasty in which at leastwere killed, Ingushetia.org reported.
Read the rest:
From the BBC
Russian troops have launched a search for militants in the volatile southern region of Ingushetia after a deadly attack on a military convoy.
Official Russian reports of the ambush, which has been blamed on local Muslim separatists, said two soldiers were killed and at least seven injured.
Read the rest: