Islamic militants attack Chechen capital; 20 dead

December 4, 2014 9:15 PM

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GROZNY, Russia Police waged hours-long gunbattles with Islamic militants who attacked Chechnya's capital Thursday, leaving at least 20 people dead and underscoring Russia's vulnerability just as President Vladimir Putin used patriotic and religious imagery in his state-of-the-nation address to defend his standoff with the West.

The clashes in Grozny, the city's biggest in years, dented a carefully nurtured image of stability created by Chechnya's Kremlin-backed strongman after two separatist conflicts. The new violence raised fears of more attacks in Chechnya and widening unrest in the rest of Russia's volatile North Cauca...

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