In an ominous sign of the instability in Russia’s southern Caucasus region, authorities said Wednesday that the coordinated raids earlier this week in the republic of Ingushetia were conducted by a mix of local and Chechen fighters and led by an Ingush commander. The description came after a pro-Chechen Web site reported that Ingush rebels had claimed responsibility for the attacks against what the rebels called Russian occupation forces and the puppet militia. The rebels claimed to have worked with mobile Chechen forces, and vowed more attacks. The statements by both sides suggested that in collaboration with the Chechen rebels, Ingushetia had developed a homegrown resistance capable of effective military action. This would be a potentially serious development for the Kremlin, which has been struggling to portray the conflict in Chechnya as largely contained and winding down. Full Story
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