Russia: February 28, 2002

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While not overjoyed, the Russian government is not opposed to the US sending military trainers to the Caucasus state of Georgia. The US special forces would help the Georgians create a force that could deal with several hundred al Qaeda members taking refuge in the Pankisi Gorge of northern Georgia (on the Chechen border.) The population in the area are ethnically related to Chechens and some 8,000 Chechen refugees have fled to the area. There are also thought to be 1,500 Chechen rebels living there as well. Meanwhile, Russia has agreed to train police for the new Afghan police force. The training will take place in Russia. In Chechnya, nine soldiers were wounded and six rebels killed in several clashes. 

 

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