Separatists Try to Disrupt Referendum on Chechen Constitution

Heads of illegal armed formations are doing their best to create a nervous atmosphere in the Chechen capital in view of the referendum scheduled for March 23rd, and destabilise peace in the republic, the operative headquarters on co-ordinating antiterrorist operations in the North Caucasus reported.

According to a headquarters representative, separatists and their allies resort to intimidation by blowing up mines. Mine planting in public places has become more frequent.

According to the regional headquarters' information, in the past 24 hours the police prevented six terrorist attacks in the republic. They found and eliminated land mines near the villages of Agishta and Avtura in Chechnya's Shali district. A separatist base, two dugouts and 13 caches were also eliminated. It has been reported that the caches contained 15 small arms with about 4,000 of ammunition as well as about 20 shells and mines.