"There are still plenty of militants in mountainous areas," Maj.-Gen. Nikolai Sivak said, reiterating that, "militants lack arms and ammunition."
The high-ranking military official also said that, "Unfortunately, we did not see a decrease in the number of losses, and this year 17 federal troops were killed as of April 27, against 15 [in the same period] last year."
Last month, a high-ranking military official with the Russian Defense Ministry said that a total of 192 militants and armed gang members were killed and more than 700 arrested in anti-terrorist operations in Russia's North Caucasus in 2007.
Although the active phase of the North Caucasus anti-terrorist campaign officially ended in 2001, periodic bombings and clashes between gunmen and federal troops still disrupt Chechnya and nearby regions, including Daghestan, Ingushetia, Kabardino-Balkaria, and Karachayevo-Circassia.
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Erdogan will continue to help consolidate Islam’s influence in public life and use Islam as a political issue. It is hard to say what Turkey will do in the Muslim world, but Erdogan obviously does not need any more turmoil in neighboring countries.