Chechens to free raid hostages

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Grozny - Chechen rebels pledged to free tomorrow all hostages seized in a raid into southern Russia, except several policemen whom they hope to exchange for captured rebels. The hostages are be released in the eastern Chechen town of Novogroznensky.

The rebels smuggled the hostages to Chechnya last week when they escaped a four-day assault on Pervomayskoye village by Russian forces. The assault finally crushed the rebels' resistance last Thursday.

In Turkey, the Black Sea ferry with about 200 freed hostages seized last week by pro-Chechen gunmen left for its original destination, the Russian port of Sochi. Reuter

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