NAZRAN, Russia — Russian troops have finished a two-month operation to clear Chechnya's war-ravaged capital of mines, but rebels elsewhere were stepping up attacks on Russian-held areas, the military said Sunday.

Altogether, sappers and special agents discovered more than 120,000 mines underground or in the rubble of Grozny's bombed-out buildings, the city's military commandant, Maj. Gen. Vasily Prizemlin, told the ITAR-Tass news agency.

After rebels abandoned Grozny in February, the Russians barred civilians from parts of the city for fear of mines.

It remained unclear what Russia plans to do with Grozny. Some officials have suggested moving the capital to Chechnya's second-largest city, Gudermes, instead of spending the huge amounts of money needed to rebuild Grozny.

Five months of Russian air and artillery strikes left the city a charred shell. Many streets are impassable heaps of torn-up asphalt, and the sewage and electricity systems have been devastated. Many of its remaining residents are surviving on gruel from Russian aid officials.

Meanwhile, Russia's top commander in Chechnya, Gennady Troshev, ruled out peace talks with Chechen President Aslan Maskhadov. Maskhadov, with whom Moscow negotiated an end to the 1994-96 Chechnya war, claimed last week that he had ordered a rebel cease-fire and was seeking a peaceful settlement.

"We cannot sit at a negotiating table with him. . . . To sit at a negotiating table with bandits would be a betrayal of the army," the hawkish Troshev insisted on Russia's NTV television Sunday night.

Moscow has indicated recently it is seeking a political solution to the war, reporting some contacts with Maskhadov through intermediaries. Russian President Vladimir Putin has said he would talk with Maskhadov — if he gets the rebels to surrender. But Maskhadov is at odds with many rebel commanders and is unlikely to be able or willing to meet that demand.

Also Sunday, a top Interior Ministry officer said an increase in attacks by militants this weekend could be a preparation for a major rebel operation. There has been a lull in large-scale fighting for more than a week, while both sides apparently regroup their forces.

On Sunday, militants twice attacked a checkpoint in the Zavodsky region of Grozny, and fired at a Russian warehouse guard in Botlikh in eastern Chechnya, ITAR-Tass said.

Rebel gunmen opened fire Saturday on a police post at the railway station in Chernokozovo northeast of Grozny, and at a police precinct in the southeastern town of Vedeno, said officer Sergei Arenin, according to ITAR-Tass.

At least five Russians were wounded in the attacks, the military said. Rebel casualties were unclear.

The military command estimated Sunday that 2,500 to 4,000 rebels remain in eastern regions of Chechnya bordering the republic of Dagestan, from where they could easily stage a cross-border attack, ITAR-Tass said.

Chechnya-based militants invaded villages in Dagestan in August, which helped prompt Russia to send troops into Chechnya in September.

The Russians took about two-thirds of Chechnya in the first months of the war but have stalled in the mountains, the last major area still under Chechen control.

Meanwhile, a delegation from the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture on Sunday visited a huge detention camp at Chernokozovo, where human rights groups say Russian forces routinely torture inmates.