Another Blow by the Chechens

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GROZNY: Nelan believes that Yeltsin's mishandling of the Chechen rebellion presents another danger. On Thursday Chechen rebels ambushed a Russian convoy near Alkhan-Kala, a village southwest of Grozny. According to Russian military reports, as many as twenty rebels and several Russian soldiers were killed in the hour-long battle. This raid, and at least 22 other attacks in the last 24 hours, follows the dramatic standoff between Chechen rebels and Russian troops last week in the village of Pervomayskaya. The escape of dozens of Chechens from the town, despite a massive Russian attack, humiliated Yeltsin. "What we're seeing is one result of the hamhanded way in which he's been handling the Chechens," says Nelan. "He will now have to worry about some terrorist act by the Chechens in Moscow if this train of bashing keeps on and they don't do some serious negotiating."