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MAKHACHKALA, November 21. /TASS/. Russian law enforcement agencies eliminated a group of armed militants in the city of Derbent in the North Caucasus.
Two bandits were killed, the law enforcers were not wounded, a source told TASS. In the very early hours of Friday, the national Anti-Terror Committee announced the security alert regime in Derbent.
Russia's law enforcement agencies have been fighting militants in Dagestan for over 13 years since the battle phase of the second war against Islamist separatists in the neighbouring Chechnya came to an end in 2000. Attacks on security officials and civilians occur from time to time in Dagestan, Ingushetia and Kabardino-Balkaria.
In 2014, 167 gunmen were killed in the region, including ten gang leaders, and 213 terrorists were arrested. Ninety-two policemen and twelve civilians were killed. A total of 763 firearms were seized, including 167 sub-machine guns, 16 machine guns, and 36 grenade launchers, as well as 75 explosive devices and two tons of components for them.
Some criminal groups are still active in Dagestan, where the militants are using geographical names for their groups — Khasavyurt, Babayurt, Kadar, Aukhov, Southern, Urva and Makhachkala groups. Four groups were eliminated in 2013 — the Shamkhal, Levashi, Sergokalin and Izberbash groups. These terrorist groups target law enforcers, squeeze money from local people, abduct people for ransom, organize ambush or shell car convoys.
The militants were most active in 1999, where gunmen of warlords Shamil Basayev and Khattab attacked a settlement in Dagestan's Botlikh region in August, leaving 73 killed and 259 wounded. A month later, Shamil Basayev's some 2,000 gunmen crossed the administrative border between Chechnya and Dagestan, occupied several settlements in the Novolakskoye region. All terrorists were killed, but losses of the federal forces amounted to 243.