NALCHIK, June 30. /TASS/. Security forces have launched a counter-terrorism operation in Nalchik, the capital of Russia’s North Caucasus republic of Kabardino-Balkaria.
"A decision was taken to conduct a counter-terrorism operation and to impose the legal regime of an anti-terrorist operation as of 03:00 Moscow Time in the part of the city of Nalchik," a source in Kabardino-Balkaria’s operational headquarters told TASS.
A series of special measures and temporary restrictions will be in effect during the anti-terrorist operation until special directives. The counter-terror regime involves strengthening the enforcement of public order, control over telephone, radio and on-line conversations, temporary resettlement of the local population.
The anti-terror regime was imposed in the Republic of Kabardino-Balkaria 12 times in 2014. A total of 21 gunmen were killed, including members of the international terrorist group Imarat Kavkaz (the Caucasus Emirate), six more militants were arrested. The counter-terrorism operation claimed the lives of 3 law enforces, six others were wounded.
According to the National Anti-Terrorist Committee, 243 gunmen were neutralized in Russia last year, including 38 chieftains, 644 militants and their henchmen were detained. Security forces conducted 74 counter-terrorism operations in the North Caucasus , seizing 272 home-made explosives and a significant number of firearms, with 219 criminals becoming subject to criminal penalties.
The Republic Kabardino-Balkaria is part of the North Caucasus Federal District. It also comprises Dagestan, Ingushetia, the Karachay-Cherkess Republic, Chechnya, North Ossetia and the Stavropol Territory.
Attacks on security officials and civilians occur from time to time in Dagestan, Ingushetia and Kabardino-Balkaria.
The most large-scale activities came in 1999, when gunmen of warlords Shamil Basayev and Khattab attacked a settlement in Dagestan's 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 in the Novolaksky district. All terrorists were killed, but federal losses amounted to 243 people.
At the same time, amnesties are actively applied in Russia, as there have been 15 of them since 1994. Five of them (in 1994, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2003) concerned the participants in the armed conflicts in the North Caucasus. About 117,000 people were pardoned and set free.