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SIMFEROPOL, August 11. /TASS/. About 10 persons have been detained on suspicion of complicity in organizing terror acts in Crimea, which a Ukrainian reconnaissance and saboteur group planned to carry out on the peninsula, a source in the local law-enforcement agencies told TASS on Thursday.
"Ukrainian saboteurs were assisted in making arms caches where about 100 kg of explosives and old-time small arms were found. About 10 men have been detained on suspicion of assisting saboteurs," the source said.
Some members of the subversive group whom Crimean law enforcement agencies are searching for could have returned to Ukraine across bogs and lakes, the source said.
"Presumably, there were seven members in the subversive group. About four members of the group could have returned to Ukraine through bogs and lakes," the source said, adding that the perpetrators were crossing the border in camouflage.
The Crimean law enforcement agencies have received brief descriptions to search for the suspects, the source said.
"However, they contained only general features, something like this: fair-haired men 185-190 cm tall are being searched for," the source said.
According to the source, the Russian security services held two combat engagements with the saboteurs on August 7-8.
The first combat engagement took place on August 7 as soon as the first group crossed the state border, the source said. "According to preliminary information, signal intelligence data were received that the group had crossed the border. A group was sent to the scene to detain them. In a shootout that followed, the detention team sustained casualties - there are persons killed and wounded in the engagement," the source said.
According to the source, the law-enforcers started to further mop up the area and spotted a member of the saboteur group in the night of August 8.
"A decision was made to capture him alive; however, as he was being pursued, he brought the group to an ambush. A combat engagement followed. According to my information, there were persons wounded in the shootout. Exact information on those killed in the combat is not available. There is also no information on whether the saboteurs were detained," the source said.
Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) reported on August 10 that it had detained a group of saboteurs on the territory of Crimea and had also prevented terrorist acts on the peninsula prepared by the Main Intelligence Department of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry.
One FSB officer was killed during the operation to detain the terrorists. Later, a serviceman of Russia’s Defense Ministry was killed as the saboteurs made a second attempt of intrusion. The terrorist attacks were designed to target critical infrastructure and life support facilities of Crimea.
Twenty improvised explosive devices containing more than 40 kilograms of TNT equivalent, ammunition, fuses, antipersonnel and magnetic mines, grenades and the Ukrainian armed forces’ standard special weapons were found at the scene, the FSB said.
Russian President Putin called as silly and criminal the attempt of a subversive act by the Ukrainian special services in Crimea aimed at distracting attention from Ukraine’s internal problems and from the authorities robbing their people.
Ukraine’s President Pyotr Poroshenko and the Foreign Ministry have rejected Moscow’s accusations, calling the alleged saboteurs’ detention a provocation.