The website of Nezavisimaya gazeta (Ng.ru) reported on April 8 that two Interior Ministry servicemen, including a commander of the elite Sever (North) battalion, were killed in a wooded area near the settlement of Bas-Gordali in Chechnya’s Nozhai-Yurt district after their patrol came across around ten rebel fighters, who mounted armed resistance. ITAR-Tass reported that two Interior Ministry servicemen were wounded by an improvised explosive device on April 8 while carrying out a special operation targeting rebel fighters who were blockaded in a wooded area near Bas-Gordali. It was unclear whether these were separate incidents or, if not, whether the Interior Ministry servicemen were killed or simply wounded.
The Chechen separatist press, for its part, provided more detailed reports of the fighting in Nozhai-Yurt and claimed that the pro-Moscow side sustained much higher casualties. The Chechenpress news agency’s website, citing Kavkaz-Center, reported on April 11 that “tens” of “Putinites” had been killed in fighting in a Nozhai-Yurt district settlement called Gordali that began on the morning of April 7 and involved around 1,000 servicemen from the Sever battalion and from other Interior Ministry units. According to Chechenpress, rebel fighters belonging to the Chechen Republic of Ickheria armed forces’ Eastern Front ambushed the pro-Moscow forces.
“The mujahideen’s unexpected attack caught the occupiers and their accomplices by surprise,” the news agency reported. “During the course of decisive and tough actions by the Chechen fighters, several tens of Russian terrorists were destroyed. After the helicopters of the occupiers began to strike blows, the mujahideen left the site of the battle. However, after several hours, when the Russian gang formations tried to recover their dead, the mujahideen again attacked the enemy, moving close to them. Fierce combat lasted for three hours. The Putinites fled, leaving another [twenty] bodies on the battlefield.” Citing a representative of the Chechen rebel command who took part in the fighting, Chechenpress reported that a total of 71 “Russian terrorists” were killed and “tens” were wounded in the battle.