"Investigators working at the scene have found 20 bodies, all severely burned due to a fire and explosion that apparently followed the crash," the source said.
Three helicopters carrying troops were sent to augment a federal task force fighting gunmen near the village of Shatoi, 30 miles south of the capital Grozny, earlier Friday.
One Mi-8 Hip transport helicopter was downed by automatic rifle fire as it approached the target area, killing everyone on board in what is apparently the second-deadliest attack on a federal helicopter in Chechnya in recent years, after the downing of a heavy Mi-26 Halo helicopter August 19, 2002, in which 127 on board were killed.
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Vladimir Putin Meets with Members of the Valdai International Discussion Club. Transcript of the Final Plenary Session
Vladimir Putin took part in the final plenary session of the Valdai International Discussion Club’s 11th meeting. The plenary session summed up the club’s work over the previous three days, which concentrated on analysing the factors eroding the current system of institutions and norms of international law.