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Friday, March 28, 2008

Annals of "Pacified" Chechnya: Militants Rising

RIA Novosti reports:

Between 400 and 500 militants are currently active in the North Caucasus, the commander of Russia's interior troops said on Wednesday. "A surge in militant activity has been registered in Chechnya, Daghestan, Ingushetia and Kabardino-Balkaria. The gunmen are waging war using mines against troops and civilians. We are taking a range of swift measures to avert terrorist attacks," Army General Nikolai Rogozhkin said. The general said Russia was deploying about 30,000 interior troops in the North Caucasus region, including 23,000 in Chechnya and 6,000-7,000 in other North Caucasus republics where a surge in militant activity was registered. "The situation in the region is controllable and we do not expect any extreme circumstances. We have sufficient experience accumulated over the past few years to combat terrorist threats in the North Caucasus, for example in Chechnya, where we ensured security at the parliamentary and presidential elections. We will prevent any serious manifestations of terrorism," he said.

Although the active phase of the antiterrorism campaign in the North Caucasus officially ended in 2001, periodic bombings and clashes between militants and federal troops still disrupt Chechnya and nearby regions, including Daghestan and Ingushetia.

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