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Russian Helicopter Shot Down in Chechnya - 2002-10-29

A Russian helicopter has been shot down in the breakaway Russian republic of Chechnya, killing four people.

Russian officials say the MI-8 helicopter was shot down near Khankala, the main military base in Chechnya and that all the people on board, three crew members and one passenger, were killed.

Russia's Interfax news agency said the helicopter was just about to land when it was hit by a missile and crashed.

It has not been confirmed who shot down the helicopter, but Chechen rebels have shot down a number of helicopters during the more than three-years of fighting between rebels and Russian troops in Chechnya.

In August, a Russian helicopter ferrying troops was shot down, killing more than 100 people.

The most recent helicopter crash came just a few days after Russian forces stormed a theater in Moscow where Chechen gunmen were holding more than 800 people hostage. The gunmen were demanding that Russian troops pull out of Chechnya.