"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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The main event of the third day of the 11th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi was the closing session with President Vladimir Putin. The atmosphere was calm and open, despite the current political tensions and the Russia-West confrontation. The Russian president said that it corresponded to the spirit of the Valdai Club.