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Explosion kills soldier during military operation in Chechnya

Chechnya has been the setting of several militant attacks against Russian forces, as well as two wars in the 1990s and 2000s.

By
Fred Lambert
Russian troops move to positions near Bamut, about 60 kilomoters ( 35 miles) west of Grozny, on Tuesday, November 2, 1999. On August 9, 2015, one soldier was reported to have been killed and two injured by a homemade explosive device during a reconnaissance operation in the region. File photo by Maxim Marmur/UPI
Russian troops move to positions near Bamut, about 60 kilomoters ( 35 miles) west of Grozny, on Tuesday, November 2, 1999. On August 9, 2015, one soldier was reported to have been killed and two injured by a homemade explosive device during a reconnaissance operation in the region. File photo by Maxim Marmur/UPI | License Photo

GROZNY, Russia, Aug. 9 (UPI) -- An explosion from a homemade bomb killed a soldier during a Russian military reconnaissance operation in Chechnya, according to reports.

Two other were injured in the blast, which occurred in a wooded area of the mostly Muslim southwestern Russian district. Authorities are investigating the matter.

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The incident comes less than a week after Russian officials say counter-terrorism forces killed up to 14 Islamist militants during an operation in the North Caucasus region.

Chechnya has been the setting of several militant attacks against Russian military forces and was a battleground during the First and Second Chechen Wars in the 1990s and 2000s.

Moscow said its counter-terrorism forces had in April killed the leader of an al-Qaida-affiliated group in Russia's North Caucasus region of Dagestan, which neighbors Chechnya.

Aliaskhab Kebekov, leader of the militant group Caucasus Emirate, had been accused of organizing an attack that killed 15 police officers in the Chechen capital of Grozny.

The month prior, a man accused in the plot to kill Russian politician and activist Boris Nemtsov blew himself up during a standoff with police in Grozny.

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In December, six militants and 10 police officers were killed in Grozny during gun battles preceding a speech in Moscow by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Five police officers were killed and 12 others wounded when a 19-year-old suicide bomber blew himself up at a holiday concert in the city last October.

Chechnya has been a source of Muslim jihadis who travel abroad to fight with extremist groups in Middle East conflict zones. In November 2014, a Chechen-led group of fighters in Syria known as Jaish al-Muhajireen wa Ansar, or Army of the Emigrants and Helpers, swore allegiance to Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State.

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