From Correspondent Eileen O'Connor and wire reports
January 17, 1996
Web posted at: 7:05 a.m EST (1250 GMT)
PERVOMAISKAYA, Russia (CNN) -- Facing three separate challenges from Chechen rebels or their supporters, Russian forces stepped up their assault on hostage-holding Chechen fighters in a southern Russian village. An intense bombardment that included ground-launched GRAD rocket , helicopter gunships and artillery was fired into Pervomaiskaya after the Russian military said it could do no more to free the captives.
Correspondent Eileen O'Connor was only a few hundred yards from the rockets when they were launched.
She was giving a live report by phone to CNN anchor Andrea Arceneaux.
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At the same time, Turkish authorities appeared content to allow a hijacked ferry, with more than 200 people on board, to wander the Black Sea coast despite threats from pro-Chechen gunmen to blow it up. Guerrillas were also holding about 30 workers -- mostly Russians -- seized Tuesday at an electric power plant near the Chechen capital of Grozny.
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