Thursday, April 16, 2009

Chechnya: Russia ends "counter-terrorism operation"

Russia has ended its "counter-terrorism operation" in the southern republic of Chechnya, the National Anti-terrorist Committee has told Russian media BBC informs.

The committee said the decision aimed "to create conditions to further normalise the situation in the region".

Russian forces have fought two major campaigns against separatist rebels in the predominantly Muslim republic since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Sporadic clashes persist, but major fighting died down several years ago.

Last month, President Dmitry Medvedev asked the security services to consider ending the operation that has been in force for a decade, saying the situation in Chechnya had "normalised to a large degree".

"We must create new possibilities for investment and employment," he told officials in a broadcast on state television.

There was no immediate information from the anti-terrorist committee on what Wednesday's decision would mean for the deployment of troops in Chechnya or the security restrictions that are in place.

These include curfews, road blocks, periodic searches by the security forces for suspected Islamist fighters, and easier detention rules.

Source: FOCUS Information Agency
Published by Mike Hitchen, Mike Hitchen Consulting
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