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    Four militants have been killed and several detained in a special operation in the south Russian republic of Ingushetia, near the border with Chechnya, the Chechen president said Wednesday.

    ROSTOV-ON-DON, July 8 (RIA Novosti) - Four militants have been killed and several detained in a special operation in the south Russian republic of Ingushetia, near the border with Chechnya, the Chechen president said Wednesday.

    A militant warlord, Rusteman Makhauri, was among those detained in the operation in Ingushetia's Sunzha district, President Ramzan Kadyrov said during a meeting with his interior minister.

    Police said one serviceman was also killed, and seven wounded.

    Interior Minister Ruslan Alkhanov said: "According to our data, there are other fatalities among militants, but the search for the bodies is difficult because the forest where the special operation is being conducted is very dense."

    Alkhanov also said a 20-strong gang that has been surrounded by police near the village of Arshty, where the fighting is continuing, was involved in Saturday's attack on a police motorcade when nine policemen were killed and 10 wounded in Ingushetia.

    The interior ministries of Chechnya and Ingushetia have been holding a joint operation to counter illegal armed units in the Sunzha district since mid-June.

    Russia's North Caucasus has seen an upsurge in violence of late, with the killing of Daghestan's Interior Minister Adilgerei Magomedtagirov and an assassination attempt on the Ingush President Yunus-bek Yevkurov last month.

    The increase in violence has coincided with Moscow's decision to formally end its decade-long counterterrorism operation in Chechnya, which witnessed two brutal separatist wars in the 1990s and early 2000s.

     

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