Policeman, local resident murdered in Chechnya

A federal policeman and a local were found dead in northern Chechnya.

The body of a policeman was discovered along with the body of a local resident on the outskirts of a village in the Shelkovsky district, ministry spokesman Roman Shchekotin was quoted as saying by the AP.

Elsewhere in the conflict-torn Russian province, a serviceman was hospitalized with severe wounds after stepping on a homemade explosive device in the southern Vedeno district. The incident happened Tuesday as Russian forces inspected an abandoned rebel base in the mountainous area, the spokesman said.

Russian troops re-entered Chechnya in 1999, three years after withdrawing from the breakaway territory at the end of a disastrous 20-month war. Despite an end to large-scale fighting, separatist rebels based in mountain hideouts continue to inflict daily losses on federal troops and their local allies.

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