GROZNY, March 11 (RIA Novosti) - Over 7,000 militants voluntarily surrendered weapons and returned to a peaceful life in the past few years, the Chechen prime minister said in an interview Saturday.
"Since the second Chechen campaign started [in 1999], more than 7,000 militants have given up arms," Ramzan Kadyrov said. "All of them were amnestied in line with Russian laws. Most of them now form units fighting crime, banditry and terrorism in the Chechen Republic."
Kadyrov, the son of the late president Akhmad Kadyrov, said the return of militants to peaceful life had been "President Akhmad Kadyrov's main aim."
Ramzan Kadyrov served as acting premier since previous premier Sergei Abramov was injured in a car accident in November last year and filed resignation February 28, 2006.
Akhmad Kadyrov, who fought against federal forces in the first Chechen campaign but later condemned radicalism and sided with the Kremlin, was assassinated in May 2004 during VE-Day celebrations in Grozny.