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DATE=9/11/1999 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=RUSSIA-DAGESTAN (S&L) NUMBER=2-253749 BYLINE=EVE CONANT DATELINE=MOSCOW INTERNET=YES CONTENT= VOICED AT: //re-running with correct number// INTRO: A Russian helicopter gunship was downed in Dagestan during continued fighting between Russian forces and Islamic insurgents in the southern Russian region. Moscow correspondent Eve Conant reports the president of neighboring Chechnya has declared a state of emergency following what he says is the Russian bombardment of Chechen villages. TEXT: The Russian military has only confirmed that a helicopter gunship crashed in Dagestan Saturday. But witnesses say the helicopter was shot down by rebel fighters. At least one crewmember was rescued but the fate of two others who were able to parachute to the ground remains unknown. Hundreds of militants aiming to establish an Islamic state have invaded Dagestan from neighboring Chechnya. Russian troops have stepped up their campaign to rout them from several villages under their control. Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov says Russian aircraft bombed villages inside Chechnya, killing civilians. He has declared a state of emergency in Chechnya and has ordered a total mobilization of the adult population. He also appealed to Chechens fighting in Dagestan to return home, or risk, as he put it, "bringing misfortune to the entire Chechen republic." // Rest For Long // Russia's Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin, said Saturday there was no reason to declare a state of emergency in Russia despite the continued fighting between insurgents and Russian troops. But Chechen President Maskhadov says talks are necessary between Russian and Chechen officials in order to avoid a larger war in the Caucasus region. The fighting in Dagestan is the heaviest in the region since Russia's civil war with Chechnya ended three years ago. (signed) NEB/EC/CBL-T/PT 11-Sep-1999 22:22 PM LOC (12-Sep-1999 0222 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .





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