Chechnya chief says over 50 militants detained
16 Jan 2017 - 23:59
Moscow: RAMZAN Kadyrov, the hardline pro-Moscow head of Russia’s Northern Caucasus Republic of Chechnya, said yesterday that more than 50 suspected militants were detained in the biggest sting operation of recent years.
Moscow has waged two wars against separatists in the region since collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. The region is now ruled by Kadyrov, a former rebel fighter now loyal to President Vladimir Putin.
Civil rights activists accuse Kadyrov of arbitrary arrests of dissidents.
Kadyrov said a group directed by a Chechen-born militant based in Syria had been targeted.
“As of now, all the band-group was neutralised, more than 50 of its participants were delivered to police stations,” Kadyrov said.
The security situation in North Caucasus region remains volatile as unemployment and corruption is rife, pushing some young men to embrace radical versions of Islam.
Some Chechens are known to be fighting as committed jihadis on the side of Islamic State in Syria and Moscow fears they may return to attack Russia, something they have threatened to do.