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    Law enforcers destroy 14 terrorist bases in Chechnya in March

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    MOSCOW, April 8 (RIA Novosti) - Last month troops from the Joint Group of Forces in Russia's North Caucasus destroyed 14 terrorists bases and 22 arms caches in Chechnya, the Russian Interior Ministry said on Tuesday.

    "The Joint Group of Forces has conducted over 100 special operations, which resulted in the seizure of 20 firearms, six grenade launchers, about 3,000 rounds of ammunition and over 280 kg (617 lbs) of explosive material," the ministry said in a news release.

    The ministry said that in March Federal forces inspected over 11,000 km (6,837 miles) of roads discovering and destroying six home-made explosive devices and over 700 highly explosive objects.

    Earlier Nikolai Simakov, Chechnya's first deputy interior minister, said law enforcement bodies had arrested or killed over 100 militants in Chechnya since the start of this year.

    He also said the numbers of terrorist attacks in the republic declined by almost 72% last year.

    Moscow has significantly scaled down its military presence in Chechnya, since two devastating military campaigns, in 1994-1996 and 1999-2001. But random fighting and terrorist attacks still occur in the area, despite a widely publicized amnesty campaign announced by authorities.

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