MOSCOW, November 19 (RIA Novosti) – Three suspected militants were killed and four law-enforcers were injured in a counter-terrorism operation in Russia’s North Caucasus Republic of Kabardino-Balkaria, the national counter-terrorism committee said.
The counter-terrorism operation regime was imposed in the republic’s Baksan district after two suspected militants were killed in a shootout with law-enforcers in the northern village of Baksanyonok late on Saturday. No law enforcement officers or civilians have been killed or injured then.
During the 12-hour counter-terrorism operation that began on Sunday noon, three suspected militants were found in a hideout nearby. In an exchange of gunfire that followed, all of them were killed. Four law-enforcers received injuries of varying degrees.
No deaths or casualties among civilians were reported.
The national counter-terrorism committee said in a statement that the “group was involved in numerous serious crimes” in the republic.
Its members are suspected of several attacks on the republic’s law-enforcers and officials in 2011-2012, including the murder of the deputy head of the local anti-terrorism body Khasan Bogatyryov and an attempted murder of the Baksan district administration chief Khasan Sizhazhev.
Law-enforcers seized weapons, explosives and ammunition in the hideout, including four explosive devices equal to 40 kg of TNT in total, assault rifles, grenades and a grenade launcher.
The Islamist insurgency, once confined largely to Chechnya, has spread in recent years across the North Caucasus. Attacks on security forces, police and civilians are also reported regularly in the neighboring republics of Ingushetia, Dagestan and Kabardino-Balkaria.