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MOSCOW, December 4. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin highly assessed the organization of a counterterrorism operation conducted in Russia’s North Caucasus republic of Chechnya on Thursday and instructed head of Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov to render assistance to the families of law enforcement officers killed in an attack by militants.
“You personally and your officers acted in a prompt and professional way, so [I express] a separate gratitude to you and all law enforcement officers of the Chechen Republic,” Putin said at a meeting with Kadyrov who informed the president that the operation to kill gunmen was completed.
“The operation is over; all 10 gunmen have been killed,” the Chechen leader said. “Unfortunately, we sustained losses, but the intentions of bandits were disrupted.”
Putin expressed confidence that Chechnya’s law enforcement agencies properly assess the situation and will professionally react to similar events.
At about 01:00 a.m. Moscow Time Thursday (22:00 UTC Wednesday) a group of unknown assailants riding in three cars attacked a traffic police checkpoint in Grozny. Then militants penetrated the Press House where republican newspapers, web publications and offices of federal media are based, and a school.
Law enforcers blocked the buildings, and a counterterrorism operation was launched in downtown Grozny. The active phase of the operation is over. Russia’s National Antiterrorism Committee (NAC) told TASS Thursday that “10 militants were neutralized as a result of a counterterrorism operation in Grozny.”
The Russian president said killed traffic police officers had acted like heroes. “Criminals, as usual, were shooting them in the backs. Whom did the criminals attack? They did not attack your special units fighting terrorism. They attacked officers of the traffic patrol service, people called upon to ensure order on roads, ensure normal operation of transport,” he said.
Putin instructed head of Chechnya Kadyrov to render all required assistance to the families of law enforcement officers killed in the attack by militants on Thursday.
“We will never forget the names of killed comrades, the names of heroes and will have to provide all necessary aid to the families of those killed and support those affected,” Putin told Kadyrov.
Kadyrov assured Putin that practically all necessary assistance has already been provided, but the president still asked him to attentively address the issue.
The Chechen leader said the militants had planned large-scale terrorism attacks in the republic.
Russia’s law enforcement agencies continue fighting militants in the North Caucasus over 13 years since the battle phase of the second war against Islamist separatists in Chechnya came to an end in 2000. Attacks on security officials and civilians occur from time to time in the volatile region.