Police in the Russian Urals republic of Bashkortostan have detained eight people on charges of being involved in terrorist actions during a special operation held in the republic's city of Oktyabrsky, a local police spokesman said on Sunday.
The operation took place on Saturday, the spokesman said, adding two of the detained were included in a federal "wanted" list.
The detainees are reportedly suspected of being members of an extremist underground group involved in abductions of people and armed robberies "aimed at... financing criminal groups in the North Caucasus region."
According to the spokesman, the suspects were involved in the abduction of a son of a top Russian businessman.
Some of those detained admitted that they had been preparing terrorist attacks to be staged in the Volga region, including with the involvement of a suicide bomber, the spokesman said.
A large number of ammunition, explosives and fake identity cards, as well as extremist literature, were found during searches in detainees' apartments.
"Currently, representatives of law enforcement bodies continue searching for other members of the group," the spokesman said.
Russia's mainly Muslim North Caucasus republics, especially Chechnya, Dagestan and Ingushetia, have seen an upsurge of militant violence lately, with frequent attacks on police and officials.
The Kremlin has pledged to wage "a ruthless fight" against militant groups but has also acknowledged the need to tackle unemployment, organized crime, clan rivalry and corruption as causes of the ongoing violence in the region.
UFA, March 28 (RIA Novosti)
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Military exercises are held in order to prevent a war rather than prepare for one. If a potential enemy knows and sees that the Russian Army is constantly improving its skills and adopting state-of-the-art combat equipment and combat support systems he will hardly risk aggression against these Armed Forces and the country they defend.