Although the casualty figures were vague, they suggest that the fighting at Bamut has taken the heaviest toll on Russian troops since last month, when the Chechens ambushed a convoy, killing more than 70 federal troops. The losses caused a furore among the Russian generals, which threatened to derail Mr Yeltsin's re-election campaign. The rebels appear to have taken heavy losses too. An unconfirmed independent Russian television report said that as many as 120 rebels were killed.Reuse content
About 40 Russian soldiers have been killed in Chechnya after launching an attempt to take the western town of Bamut, a former strategic missile base where rebels have for months successfully resisted Russian efforts to seize it. Reports indicated that Russia has mounted a drive to take the town - further undermining President Boris Yeltsin's pledge in March to end major military operations in the republic and to search for a settlement.