NALCHIK, December 30 (RIA Novosti) – Three suspected militants alleged to be planning attacks for the Russian holiday season were killed Monday in a counter-terrorism operation, the National Anti-Terrorist Committee (NAK) said.
The suspected leader and two other alleged gang members died in an exchange of fire with law–enforcement officers who had surrounded a house in the town of Chegem in Russia’s North Caucasus republic of Kabardino-Balkaria.
“The gunmen were planning terror acts during the New Year and Christmas holidays to destabilize the situation in the republic,” the NAK said in a statement.
It said that two police officers were slightly injured during a siege that lasted for several hours.
A woman suspected of aiding the militant group left the house with a young child after officers called on the gang to surrender, the NAK said.
The suspected militants were accused of carrying out a series of crimes, including the murders of two Russian police officers earlier this month.
An Islamist insurgency, once confined largely to Chechnya, has spread across the North Caucasus in recent years, with attacks on security forces, police and civilians reported regularly in the nearby republics of Dagestan, Ingushetia and Kabardino-Balkaria.
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