Tuesday, September 7, 1999 Published at 16:05 GMT 17:05 UK
Yeltsin attacks 'careless' army
Russian soldiers are up against well-armed, mobile opponents
President Yeltsin has strongly criticised the Russian military for failing to prevent attacks by Islamic guerrillas in the southern republic of Dagestan.
The killings came as the guerillas launched a fresh offensive over the weekend from neighbouring Chechnya, after Russian troops thought they had suppressed the uprising.
The guerillas are hoping to establish a Muslim state in the multi-ethnic North Caucasus region.
He vowed "adequate measures" to confront the Islamic militants, who he has said endanger Russia's territorial integrity.
Interior ministry officials estimate that in the latest incursion around 1,000 Muslem rebels crossed into the Novolakski region of western Dagestan.
Officials are still counting the dead from the blast at Buynaksk, but the toll had risen to 61, including 21 children, by early Tuesday.
Dagestani officials said 2,000 refugees had fled the war zone.
Both assaults are thought to have been led by experienced commanders such as Shamil Basayev, who helped mastermind Russia's defeat in the 1994-96 Chechnya war.
Russia said on Monday that 49 troops and police had died and 230 had been wounded in the fighting in Dagestan in the past few days.
Chechnya, where Islamists have taken effective control of the government, has provided a base for the rebels, who last month attempted to declare an Islamic republic in part of Dagestan.