PYATIGORSK, October 16 (RIA Novosti) – Police have detained four men they suspect of plotting attacks in Russia’s restive North Caucasus republic of Ingushetia, a local law enforcement source said Wednesday.
Five men were initially detained after police searched seven addresses where militants were thought to be hiding, the source said. One individual was later released, the source said.
The official said the suspects have ties to militant groups.
“A large quantity of arms and explosives, including homemade explosive devices,” were found at some of the addresses searched by police, the source said.
No information was available to independently confirm the source's claims.
A counter-terrorism operation has been underway since early Wednesday morning in the Ingush town of Magas and in the villages of Yandare and Ekazhevo after police received information about possible terrorist attacks during the days-long Muslim celebration of Eid al-Adha, which is currently taking place.
Attacks on security forces, police and civilians occur regularly in the North Caucasus, generated by ethnic, religious and political rivalries, as well as poverty and corruption.
The violence is also fed by an Islamist insurgency, which has been especially resilient in Dagestan and fueled a series of bloody post-Soviet separatist wars in the neighboring republic of Chechnya.