GROZNY, August 12 (RIA Novosti) - The number of kidnappings and murders in Chechnya has increased dramatically since the start of the year, Russia's main investigations agency said on Wednesday.
"The number of abductions in the first six months of the year grew 475% year-on-year from four to 23, while the number of murders increased 50%, from 52 to 78," the Russian Prosecutor General's Office Investigations Administration for Chechnya said.
It also said there had been a 40% rise in crimes involving the stealing of arms, ammunition and explosives and a 175% increase in the number of thefts or unlawful seizure of motor vehicles.
At the same time, the number of crimes of "a terrorist nature" fell almost 5%.
The administration recorded about 1,700 crimes in the first half of the year, starting criminal proceedings in 355 cases.
A total of 173 cases went to court, including 38 on corruption charges.
Moscow formally ended its decade-long antiterrorism operation in the volatile North Caucasus republic in mid-April, but violence has been seen to have increased in the past few months.
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