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Second Chechen War

The Second Chechen War began in 1999, when Chechnya began to fight for independence. Two years before, a Chechen politician in favor of independence, Aslan Maskhadov[?], was elected President of Chechnya.

During the conflict, many terrorist attacks happened during four years of war; one was at the Dubrovka Theater, in October,2002, when a commando of Chechen Rebels took the theater in Moscow for three days. On October 27, 2002, the Russian Army used a unknown gas to end the drama, causing many casualities. This brought many questions and doubts about the politics of Russian President Vladimir Putin against Chechen rebels.

In November, 2002, a bomb destroyed the Pro-Russian Government Headquarters and killed more than 20 people in the Chechen capital, Grozny.

According to Chechen sources 60,000 civilians have so far died this war.

During the the initial months of the war, Russia made effective use of air power instead of immediately rushing in massive numbers of ground troops as they did in the first war to high casualties. However, Russian forces later resorted to heavy carpet bombing and ballistic missile strikes against Grozny and other major cities, killing many civilians along with the enemy. There are also reports of chemical weapons being used against rebels, though this has yet to be confirmed. The international community has criticized the apparent heavy-handedness of the Russian military in dealing with the rebels.

Despite public statements by Putin and other Russian officials insisting that the war is over, Chechen rebels led by Shamil Basayev continue to wage a guerilla-style Islamic holy war (jihad) against Russian troops and the puppet Chechen administation, killing soldiers and civilians alike with daily bombings, rocket and gun attacks. Chechen rebels often videotape their work and publish the videos on the internet.

See also: First Chechen War

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