300 Chechens die

300 Chechens die

Moscow - Confirming suspicions of heavy casualties, the Russian commander in Chechnya said yesterday that nearly 300 civilians had been killed during more than a week of heavy fighting in the breakaway republic's second- largest city. Russian troops have kept Gudermes sealed off since Saturday. The blockade has aroused the suspicions of even the pro-government Russian media. Several reports have accused the military of trying to hide something, perhaps the scale of the casualties. One refugee who fled before the blockade said he passed 30 fresh corpses in his block alone on his way out of town. AP

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