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Series of terror attacks prevented in Chechnya - minister

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GROZNY, February 23 (RIA Novosti) - A series of large-scale terrorist attacks militants planned to make on Fatherland Defenders' Day has been prevented in Chechnya, the North Caucasus republic's interior minister said Thursday.

Ruslan Alkhanov said policemen had been monitoring a gang led by Isa Muskiyev, suspected of "supervising" gangs acting in the republic's Shali, Kurchaloi and Argun districts.

Alkhanov said 11 powerful self-made explosive devices had been seized from a cache in Grozny.

"They were made in the form of buckets and canisters containing metal balls and reinforced concrete parts filled with explosives and covered with sealing foam," the minister said.

Besides, the cache contained seven artillery shells militants had planned to use as landmines, four grenade launchers and many ammunition items for small arms.

Alkhanov said the search for militants who had planned attacks was underway.

A source in the republic's law enforcement agencies said another two caches had been discovered in Chechnya's Vedeno and Shatoi districts.

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