Violence erupts around Chechnya

Security forces have killed four people accused of extremist activity while three Russian soldiers have been shot dead by gunmen in new violence that is gripping areas near Chechnya.

    Chechen Special Forces remember their colleagues

    Officials in Dagestan, on Chechnya's eastern border, said police and troops had surrounded a house overnight after observation suggested it was a centre for extremist activity.

    The occupants refused to surrender and, after children were allowed to leave, a gunbattle erupted, lasting until after dawn. Four men were killed and three women were taken into custody in the regional capital, Makhachkala.

    Meanwhile, in Ingushetia, to the west of Chechnya, Interfax news agency said that rebels had opened fire with machine guns on a car carrying Russian servicemen, killing three of them. The agency, quoting prosecutors, said a number of soldiers had been injured.

    Upsurge in violence

    "Basayev's removal makes our fight against armed fighters easier, but does not solve the problem entirely"

    Alu Alkhanov, Chechnya's pro-Moscow president

    Alu Alkhanov, Chechnya's pro-Moscow president acknowledged that separatist rebels still posed a problem in the region despite the killing last month of the most prominent guerrilla, Shamil Basayev.

    Restating Russian allegations that separatists secure funding from radical groups abroad, Alkhanov said: "We realise that we are dealing with a powerful network of international terrorism, including Al-Qaeda,
       
    "Basayev's removal makes our fight against armed fighters easier, but does not solve the problem entirely."
       
    Nikolai Patrushev, head of the FSB counter-intelligence agency, told the same gathering on Friday that Islamist separatists intended to hit targets in nearby regions.

    "Terrorists have shifted the accent of their activities to the territory of the republics bordering Chechnya," he said.

    Despite recurring attacks on its forces there, Moscow says the region is under control and functioning normally under a pro-Moscow government.

    SOURCE: Reuters


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    From Qatar to Alaska, a personal journey exploring what it means to belong when your culture is endangered.