2/10/2014 4:26
RIA Novosti

Russia

Law enforcers killed 72 militants in Chechnya in 2007

20:32 16/01/2008
GROZNY, January 16 (RIA Novosti) - Seventy-two militants including 11 leaders of armed groups were killed in special operations last year in Chechnya, the North Caucasus republic's interior minister said on Wednesday.

Moscow has substantially scaled down the number of federal troops in the republic since two anti-terrorism campaigns, in 1994-1996 and 1999-2001. However, periodic bombings and clashes between insurgents and federal troops still disrupt Chechnya and nearby provinces.

"Last year law enforcement bodies in Chechnya arrested 32 militants and one head of an illegal armed formation, while 139 militants surrendered," Ruslan Alkhanov said.

The minister said security measures had helped to reduce the number of terrorist attacks by around 72% and the number of abductions by 50%.

Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov assessed the work of the Interior Ministry in 2007 as positive.

"The Interior Ministry provided order during elections to the State Duma [Russian parliament's lower house] and public security during a number of important public and political events in the republic. They were all held without any violations," Kadyrov said.

In 2006 more than 600 militants in Chechnya and adjacent provinces reportedly surrendered their arms in response to a six-month amnesty declared by the Russian government on July 15 of that year for those not involved in any serious crimes.

The amnesty followed the killing by federal troops of Chechnya's warlord and number one terrorist Shamil Basayev, who was behind the 2004 Beslan school siege and other atrocities.

Kadyrov, elected Chechen president in early 2007, said earlier that "the counterterrorism operation in the region has been completed and today we are fighting criminal elements in the Republic of Chechnya."

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