Chechen Interior Minister Ruslan Alkhanov said on January 16 that 72 militants, including 11 leaders of armed groups, were killed in special operations in Chechnya in 2007, RIA Novosti reported. Law enforcement bodies in Chechnya last year arrested 32 militants and one head of an “illegal armed formation,” while 139 militants surrendered, Alkhanov said. He also said that security measures had helped to reduce the number of terrorist attacks by around 72 percent and the number of abductions by 50 percent.
Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov, for his part, assessed the work of the Chechen Interior Ministry in 2007 as “positive,” RIA Novosti reported. “The Interior Ministry provided order during elections to the State Duma and public security during a number of important public and political events in the republic,” he said. “They were all held without any violations.”
Meanwhile, a federal Interior Ministry officer was killed and six others wounded in Chechnya in a clash with some eight attackers on the evening of January 16, the Associated Press reported. According to Itar-Tass, one of the attackers, a 31-year-old resident of Dagestan, was also killed in the shootout, which took place in a forest 1.5 kilometers east of the village of Benoi in Chechnya’s Vedeno district and lasted an hour and a half. Kavkazky Uzel reported on January 16 that two Interior Ministry servicemen from Bryansk Oblast were seriously wounded on January 15 when gunmen opened fire on their vehicles as they were traveling through the village of Chishki in Chechnya’s Groznensky district. According to the website, one Chechen policeman was killed and another wounded on January 13 when gunmen attacked a group of servicemen and policemen near the Shatoi district village of Sharo-Argun.
A senior officer with Ingushetia’s Interior Ministry was found dead in Ingushetia on January 16. Itar-Tass reported that the bullet-riddled body of Senior Lieutenant Movsar Martazanov, the deputy commander of the Ingushetian Interior Ministry’s special task force unit, was found near a kindergarten in the city of Karabulak.