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Gun battles raged through the streets of the southern Russian cityof Budyonnovsk, 120 miles north of Chechnya, as an armed convoy of nearly 100 heavily armed gunmen believed to be Chechen rebels invaded the town. As the rebels stormed the police station, city hall and government offices, 15 people were killed and 21 others were wounded. The gunmen seized as many as 300 hostages, most of them civilians, and threatened to kill them if Russia did not immediatelycease military operations in Chechnya. As night fell, Russian officials say the attackers herded their captives into buses and began to retreat towards Chechnya.