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    CHECHEN INTERIOR MINISTER ON STABILIZATION OF SITUATION IN CHECHNYA OVER LAST YEAR

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    MOSCOW, January 8, 2004. (RIA Novosti) -- The operative situation in Chechnya continues to remain relatively dangerous. However, analytical work, conducted upon the results of 11 months in 2003, speaks for the gradual and steady stabilization, Chechen Interior Minister Alu Alkhanov disclosed to journalists.

    According to the Minister, the positive influence on the criminal situation in the republic was caused by measures taken by the interior ministry departments on investigation of crimes and arrest of militants from illegal armed formations. "All this is the result of hard daily work of the Chechen police officers," Alkhanov noted.

    In 2003 despite the increase of the registered crimesin the republic, on the whole, in 8 out of 20 Chechen districts crime level decreased, the Minister noted. "In particular, comparing with the similar period in 2002, crime level in the Shalinsky district decreased by 25%, in Vedensky - by 18.4%, in Kurchaloevsky - by 15.8% and in Argun - by 19.1%," Alkhanov said.

    However, despite the overall decrease of grave crimes in the republic within this particular period, the number of such crimes increased nevertheless in Staropromyslovsky, Grozny, Gudermess, Zavodskoy, Urus-Martan and Sundzhensky districts, he added. "We will be increasing our activity in the mentioned above districts in order to decrease the crime level," the Minister said.

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