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DATE=10/9/1999 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=RUSSIA/CHECHEN BORDER (L) NUMBER=2-254839 BYLINE=EVE CONANT DATELINE=CHECHEN-INGUSHETIA BORDER CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: Russian military officials say they have successfully carried out air strikes and shelling against Islamic militants operating in the breakaway republic of Chechnya. But refugees fleeing to the neighboring republic of Ingushetia accuse Russian forces of randomly shelling towns and villages. V-O-A correspondent Eve Conant reports from the Chechen- Ingush border. TEXT: /// OPEN WITH TRAFFIC NOISE, HONKING, FADE. /// Families packed into cars impatiently try to cross the border out of Chechyna and away from what they describe as random bombing attacks against civilians. The pounding of Russian artillery can be heard in the distance as they drive into Ingushetia. As night falls, the sound of the bombing grows more frequent and more intense. For those who don't want to cross, there is a small refugee camp just inside the Chechen border. Like other camps in the region, this one has little to offer its frightened inhabitants. They count themselves lucky if they get a loaf of bread, or a tent to protect from nighttime rains. /// ACT SOUND OF WOMEN SHOUTING, FADE. /// Almost all of the refugees gathered here had survived Russia's 1994 to 1996 war with Chechyna, which ended in tens of thousands of civilian casualties. Havi Mukhtarova and the others crowded around her say they are tired of the fighting, that they can no longer live with war. /// MUKHTAROVA ACT IN INGUSH, FADE. /// "We already lost everything in the last war. We left Chechnya with only the clothes we were wearing," she cries. "Now it's happening all over again." A nearby hospital is packed with casualties of the latest fighting. A 16-year-old boy in a state of shock tries to explain how Russian aircraft circled over his head three times before the bombs fell. /// OPT: BOY'S PAINFUL MUMBLES, FADE. /// The next thing he remembers is waking up in the hospital with his right leg blown off. Hospital doctors say they need medical aid, but are getting no assistance. They say their new casualties are suffering from shrapnel wounds and burns caused by Russian bombing raids. An older man lying under a bloodstained sheet has burns over 30 per cent of his body. Flies buzz around his wounds as he explains that he was simply taking out the garbage when a rocket hit his home. Like many others, he does not understand how Russian officials can say they are only targeting terrorists. He looks around at a room full of civilian casualties and asks, "Where are the terrorists here?" (Signed) NEB/EC/ALW/JP 09-Oct-1999 13:42 PM EDT (09-Oct-1999 1742 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .





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