Russian interior minister vows to strike Dagestan militants

09:33, January 09, 2010      

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Russian Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev on Friday vowed to take tough action against militants in the volatile North Caucasus republic of Dagestan.

"We will carry out serious retaliatory action, aimed at the elimination of militant activity and militant hideouts," Nurgaliyev said during a trip to Makhachkala, capital of Dagestan, where a suicide bombing killed five police officers on Wednesday.

Nurgaliyev said 26 terror attacks were prevented in Dagestan last year, with 153 militants killed and 111 others detained. Meanwhile, 58 police died and another 135 were injured in clashes with gunmen.

The interior minister's comments came after Russian President Dmitry Medvedev earlier in the day demanded a tough line against militants be maintained in the North Caucasus.

Russia's North Caucasus republics of Ingushetia, Dagestan and Chechnya have been plagued by instability and violence recently. Five policemen were killed and 24 people, including 18 police, were injured in a suicide attack in Dagestan on Wednesday.

Source: Xinhua
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