Russian forces kill 49 militants in North Caucasus
Russian security forces have killed 49 militants in an operation across the North Caucasus region, where rebels are fighting to carve out an Islamic state, Russia's top anti-terrorism body has said.
The agency, which serves as a mouthpiece for law enforcement agencies operating in the region, gave no time period for the operation, which was launched days after the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, led a meeting of the country's security council.
Putin has pushed the North Caucasus insurgency, rooted in two separatist wars in Chechnya, back to the forefront of national politics.
He has told security forces to ensure that militants do not launch attacks on the 2014 Winter Olympics and other high-profile events planned in Russia.
"A series of co-ordinated measures allowed for the suppression of the activity of a number of notorious leaders, members of bandit groups and associates, and allowed for a significant disruption of the bandits' supply system," Interfax quoted an agency statement as saying.
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