07:20 GMT +326 April 2019
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    Almost 200 militants killed in North Caucasus in 2007

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    GROZNY, April 10 (RIA Novosti) - A total of 192 militants and armed gang members were killed and more than 700 arrested in anti-terrorist operations in Russia's North Caucasus last year, a deputy interior minister said on Thursday.

    A total of 17 armed criminal groups were eliminated and 28 leaders killed in the region during the year, Arkady Yedelev said.

    According to police reports from March, some 103 militants have been arrested or killed in Chechnya since the start of this year.

    Yedelev also said that the number of terrorist attacks had significantly reduced over the past year: "Last year 11 terrorist attacks were registered against 39 in 2006."

    The high-ranking official added that abductions in the republic had significantly reduced over the past two years, signaling a breakthrough in the situation surrounding kidnappings.

    "Eighteen criminal cases were launched for the abduction of 21 people in 2007, while in 2002 845 people were abducted in Chechnya with 611 cases opened," Yedelev said.

    Although the active phase of the North Caucasus anti-terrorist campaign officially ended in 2001, periodic bombings and clashes between gunmen and federal troops still disrupt Chechnya and nearby regions, including Daghestan, Ingushetia, Kabardino-Balkaria, and Karachayevo-Circassia.

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