Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 6 Issue: 34

Col.-Gen. Arkady Yedelev, chief of the regional headquarters for counter-terrorist operations in the North Caucasus, told Interfax on September 12 that a total 231 rebel fighters had been eliminated and 890 rebels suspected of crimes arrested in sweep operations in Chechnya during the first eight months of this year. “Six high-ranking leaders, 13 militant group leaders and 23 emirs were among those eliminated,” he said.

“Fifteen guerrilla leaders and 11 emirs have been detained since the beginning of the year.” Commenting on security measures that are being taken in Chechnya ahead of parliamentary elections in the republic, set for November, Yedelev said: “The situation within the Chechen republic is favorable for parliamentary elections. It is under the total control of federal forces, the authorities of the Chechen republic and local law-enforcement agencies. We have no doubts that the elections will be prepared and will proceed in a calm atmosphere.”

Meanwhile, thirteen people were wounded on September 13 when unknown attackers fired on the Chechen Interior Ministry building in Grozny with a grenade launcher. A republican law-enforcement source told Itar-Tass that nine police officers and civilians, including a woman, were among the injured, but that none of their lives were in danger. According to the news agency, it is believed that one person or several people fired on the building with a grenade launcher from a distance of approximately 1,500 meters away.

Interfax reported on September 13 that two police officers were killed and one wounded in a blast in Grozny. Quoting the Chechen Interior Ministry, the news agency reported that a police car ferrying an unidentified criminal suspect from the Grozny remand prison to the police station in Chechnya’s Naursky district hit an explosive device and that the blast killed the deputy head of Naursky district police station’s detention center and the policeman who was driving the vehicle. The third police officer and the detained suspect were wounded. Earlier on September 13, Chechen law enforcement sources told Interfax that the dead bodies of a police patrolman and an unemployed local woman had been found in an abandoned car in Grozny’s Staropromyslovsky district the previous day.