Two dead in gunfight with police in Chechnya

A gunfight between police and two assailants who stopped a patrol car on the outskirts of the Chechen capital left two people dead, the Chechen Interior Ministry said Friday.

One assailant and one person in the police car - a relative of one of the officers - were killed in the shootout Thursday in the Raduzhnoye district on the edge of Grozny, the ministry said.

Another passenger in the car was wounded. The second gunman escaped.

Elsewhere in Chechnya, two Russian servicemen were wounded when the military truck they were riding in hit a land mine Thursday, said Maj. Gen. Ilya Shabalkin, chief spokesman for the federal forces in the North Caucasus region. The explosion occurred near Dzhalka, in the northern Gudermes region.

Chechen First Deputy Prime Minister Ramzan Kadyrov said Friday that the hunt for Chechen rebel leader Shamil Basayev was moving ahead and that he had no intention of asking his security forces to arrest the warlord.

"He will live until the minute I find him. He is my personal enemy, and I'm not going to risk my men's lives instructing them to catch him alive," the Interfax news agency quoted Kadyrov as saying.

Basayev has claimed responsibility for the explosion that killed Kadyrov's father, Chechen President Akhmad Kadyrov, on May 9, 2004, as well as a long series of other attacks.

Associated Press

On the photo: Shamil Basayev

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