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  Wednesday, December 11, 2019
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Three explosions and a shooting over the past 24 hours
Three explosions and a shooting over the past 24 hours in Russia's republic of Chechnya have left one soldier dead and three wounded, a law enforcement source said on Saturday.

The source said that one soldier was killed overnight when a temporary checkpoint in Elistanzhy in the Vedensky District came under fire from gunmen.

And in the capital Grozny, a local police officer was injured, when two explosions occurred some 150 meters from the Sultan Bilmkhanov football stadium, where home side Terek are due to take on Moscow Region's Saturn later today in a Premier League match.

As bomb disposal teams worked to clear the site a third explosion occurred "injuring a military commander and a member of the republic's presidential security service. The injured have been hospitalized," the source said.

The past week has seen a surge in attacks on Russian troops in Chechnya just two days after the Kremlin announced that its 10-year counter-terrorism operation in the troubled region had formally ended.

Earlier this week, gunmen killed three Russian soldiers in the Chechen village of Bamut, near the border with Ingushetia. Despite the formal end of the operation, several thousand Russian troops had remained in the province to counter militant activity in mountains districts.

The attacks prompted Russia's Interior Ministry to announce on Friday that it was reintroducing anti-terrorism operations in three districts in southern Chechnya.

Russian federal troops launched the counter-terrorism operation in Chechnya in the fall of 1999 after a group of militants led by Shamil Basayev and Arab mercenary Khattab invaded neighboring Daghestan. Moscow conducted a separate campaign in Chechnya in 1994-1996.

Under President Ramzan Kadyrov, the republic has seen a decline in militant activity, although attacks on federal forces remain common. The 32-year-old Chechen leader has been accused by his critics of involvement in human rights abuses, a charge that he denies.

On Tuesday, Kadyrov played down reports of impending terrorist attacks, saying the security situation in the south Russian republic remained stable and under control.

Russian media had quoted the Interior Ministry as saying militant forces were gathering strength in mountainous areas and preparing a series of terrorist attacks in the capital, Grozny.


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