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Counter-terrorism operation underway in Russia’s Dagestan

February 12, 2016, 10:37 UTC+3 MAKHACHKALA

Almost a half of Russia's major counter-terrorism operations are carried out in Dagestan

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©  National Anti-Terrorist Committee of Russia/TASS archive

MAKHACHKALA, February 12. /TASS/. A regime of counter-terrorism operation was introduced in the Khasavyurtovsky district in Russia’s North Caucasus republic of Dagestan early on Friday, a spokesperson for the operation headquarters of the National Anti-terrorism Committee has said.

"The regime was imposed in the Khasavyurtovsky district at 5 a.m. (0200GMT). An effort is underway to search for gunmen," he said.

Almost a half of major counter-terrorism operations are carried out in Dagestan, also to neutralize suicide bombers. In the Kabardino-Balkar Republic, almost 30% of such operations are conducted, while Ingushetia and Chechnya account for the remaining effort.

This is the fourth counter-terrorism operation of the National Anti-terrorism Committee since the start of the year to neutralize gunmen in Dagestan organized by the task force.

Last year, 23 special operations were conducted in the crime-prone areas of the republic - the central zone of Khasavyurt, Makhachkala and Buynaksk. In 2014, 74 counter-terrorism operations and more than 16,000 military operations were carried out in the North Caucasus, according to the Federal Security Service (FSB).

Russia’s special services prevented over 30 terrorism-related crimes and killed 51 gunmen in 2015. Almost 3,000 Russians who are suspected of links to terrorist organizations and more than 1,600 sponsors of terrorists were also identified.

The most large-scale terrorist activities in Dagestan came in 1999, when gunmen of warlords Shamil Basayev and Khattab attacked a settlement in Botlikh region in August, killing 73 people and wounding 259. A month later some 2,000 Shamil Basayev's gunmen crossed the administrative border between Chechnya and Dagestan, occupying several settlements. All terrorists were killed, but federal losses amounted to 243 people.

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