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    TOUGHER ON CHECHEN TERRORISTS, CALLS PUTIN'S ENVOY

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    GROZNY, April 21 (RIA Novosti) - Combat on Chechen terrorism and kidnappings must gain momentum, Vladimir Yakovlev, presidential envoy plenipotentiary to federal district South, said to the media after conference with republican President Ahmad Kadyrov and spokesmen of Chechnya's law enforcement ministries.

    The rate of such crimes is reducing. Then, people reported missing are sometimes wrongly considered kidnapped-some may go to the underground, and some fall victim to blood feuds, he acknowledged.

    The federal Interior Ministry intended to cede anti-terror operation control to its republican analogue. Has anything been done? a reporter asked.

    The work has really started, replied Mr. Yakovlev. The republican ministry is overtaking public order protection and project security duties.

    Federals have just finished a special operation to kill twelve terrorists, report PR of the regional operations HQ for the North Caucasian anti-terror operation.

    The action took five days and nights as commandos and soldiers under federal Defence Ministry command were tracking down warlord Doku Umarov's gangs, who have taken refuge in the sparsely populated highlands, an HQ spokesman said to Novosti.

    The Umarov gangs were terrorising civilians in their and neighbouring areas to great administrative concern. Information obtained from the population helped to ambush bandits along their tentative routes. Twelve bandits died as the result.

    One Denisold Khassarov, active in the underground, was arrested in the Shatoi district. He had been shadowing federals en route on Umarov's order.

    The soldiers tracked down and ruined 18 rebel observation points and 17 bases-each to accommodate ten. There were eight cachets at the bases with a stock of arms, munitions, uniforms, food and medicines. A total 16 makeshift explosive devices, and a considerable stock of automatics, grenades and grenade-thrower rounds were confiscated alongside an anti-tank missile installation, a grenade-thrower, a sniper rifle, many carbines, pistols and landmines.

    Three rebels surrendered to the police during the operation to give up two automatics and a grenade-thrower.

    A foreign mercenary found his death in the Vedeno district. A passport found on him identified the man as Semek Yusif, Turkish national, and had a Georgian entry visa of July 7, 2002. The man also had papers of his national Tae Kwon Do Federation, a barrister's certificate, and other Ids, all in Turkish. An investigation is on, said our informant.

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