Just over a year since a counter-terrorism regime was lifted in Chechnya, the North Caucasus republic is enjoying a period of long-awaited peace, Russia's interior minister said on Saturday.
"Not a single terrorist act has taken place this year in Chechnya," Rashid Nurgaliyev told Chechen Interior Ministry officials. "I am sure the peaceful labor of Chechens is under reliable protection."
He also said that only scattered remnants of the militants groups who once "dictated their own conditions" were left in the republic.
The decade-long counter-terrorism operation ended in Chechnya on April 16, 2009 and some 20,000 Russian Interior Ministry troops were subsequently withdrawn from the republic, which witnessed two brutal separatist wars in the 1990s and early 2000s.
However, Oleg Orlov, the head of the Memorial human rights group, says the number of security personnel killed in Chechnya has in fact increased since the counter-terrorism regime was lifted.
He said 85 law enforcement officers were killed and 168 injured between April 16, 2009 and the end of March 2010 compared with 50 killed and 140 injured the year before.
GROZNY, April 24 (RIA Novosti)