Two Russian soldiers killed in Chechnya: report

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Two Russian soldiers were found shot to death on Tuesday in Russia's volatile republic of Chechnya, a regional military official was quoted as saying by the RIA Novosti news agency.

"Around 3:00 pm (1100 GMT), a unit commander arrived with soldiers at a checkpoint and found two troops killed by bullets," said Igor Gorbul, a spokesman for Russian forces in the Caucasus.

Following two wars against separatists in Chechnya over the past 20 years, violence against government officials and servicemen in the Caucasus region has become a near-daily occurrence.

The Kremlin fought two wars against separatist rebels in Chechnya in the 1990s, and the violence has since spread into the nearby regions of Dagestan and Ingushetia.

Despite the Russian authorities' tough rhetoric and pledges to root out terror, the violence shows no signs of abating.

During the first nine months of 2011, 143 policemen and members of the military, 301 insurgents and 88 civilians have been killed in the North Caucasus, Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliev said last week.

© 2011 AFP

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