Gang responsible for August attack on Chechen village broken up


GROZNY, September 7 (RIA Novosti) - The leading members of a gang that carried out a bloody attack on a village in Chechnya in August have either been arrested or killed, Chechnya's interior minister said Wednesday.

Ruslan Alkhanov said that the gang had been completely broken up. He said representatives of his ministry and federal troops had conducted special operations in the last three weeks to find the attackers. In all, 30 militants involved in the attack on the village of Roshin-Chu, which let four people dead, were killed. He also said that six gang members had been arrested and had given evidence that had made a significant contribution to progress in the case.

The minister said that the gang's leader, Kazbek Batalov, had been killed.

According to Alkhanov, arms caches were also destroyed and dozens of assault rifles, heavy machine guns, grenade launchers, radios, maps and camouflage uniforms were seized.

Alkhanov said there was "every reason" to believe that the gang was planning an incursion into the neighboring republic of Ingushetia and also an armed provocation in Achkoi-Martan, a town in the west of Chechnya. He added that gang members came from diverse ethnic backgrounds.

On August 14, militants attacked the village of Roshni-Chu in the central Urus-Martan region. The mayor's house was burned down and the military commandant, his deputy and two other soldiers were killed.

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