World IN BRIEF : RUSSIA : Chechen Rebels Abandon Town

From Times Wire Reports

Chechen rebels abandoned their weeklong occupation of Gudermes, the region's second biggest town, leaving dead bodies lying in the streets under a barrage of Russian artillery fire. Gen. Aslan Maskhadov, overall commander of the Chechen separatist rebels fighting Russian forces, said he had issued an order for them to withdraw from Gudermes "to avoid further victims among the two sides and among peaceful civilians." Gudermes Mayor Ramzan Vatsayev said more than 100 civilians had been killed in fighting in the past few days.

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