30/10/2014 16:48
RIA Novosti

Russia

Counter-terrorism operation ends in Chechnya

12:53 16/04/2009
MOSCOW, April 16 (RIA Novosti) - The counter-terrorism operation that was launched in Russia's volatile republic of Chechnya in 1999 finished at midnight, the Russian National Anti-terrorism Committee said on Thursday.

"The order proclaiming the republic a counter-terrorism operation zone was annulled at 00:00 Moscow time [20:00 GMT Wednesday] on April 16," the committee said in a statement.

The end to the counter-terrorism operation envisages the withdrawal of some 20,000 Interior Ministry troops deployed in the republic. It also removes restrictions concerning international flights.

"The decision is aimed at ensuring conditions to normalize further the situation in the republic and to restore and develop its socio-economic sphere," the statement read.

Russia's Federal Air Transport Agency may now consider granting Grozny airport international flight status.

Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov announced in late March that the counter-terrorism operation could soon be ended in the North Caucasus republic, which witnessed two brutal separatist wars in the 1990s and early 2000s.

Russian federal troops launched a counter-terrorism operation in Chechnya in the fall of 1999 after a group of militants led by Shamil Basayev and Arab mercenary Khattab invaded neighboring Daghestan. Moscow conducted a separate campaign in Chechnya in 1994-1996.

Under Kadyrov, the republic has seen a decrease in militant activity, although attacks on federal forces remain common. The 32-year-old Chechen leader has been accused by his critics of involvement in human rights abuses, a charge that he denies.

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RIA NovostiCounter-terrorism operation ends in Chechnya

12:53 16/04/2009 The counter-terrorism operation that was launched in Russia's volatile republic of Chechnya in 1999 finished at midnight, the Russian National Anti-terrorism Committee said on Thursday. >>

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