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Terrorists’ base in Russia destroyed

March 30, 2011

The Voice of Russia, 29 March 2011: Russian special services have destroyed a terrorists’ base in Ingushetia, an autonomous republic in Russia’s Caucasus. 17 terrorists were killed. Supposedly, there are several top terrorist leaders among them.

The location of the base was found out thanks to interrogation of two brothers, Islam and Iles Yandievs, who were detained as being involved in the explosion at Moscow’s Domodedovo airport several days before the New Year. During their arrest, an explosive belt was found. It was the Yandiev brothers who took the suicide bomber Magomed Evloev to the airport and controlled his actions. During interrogation, the brothers said that their commander, a certain Khamzat, had a base in a forest in Ingushetia, where terrorists for Ingushetia and neighboring North Ossetia were trained, and named the base’s location.

The Russian command decided to destroy the terrorists’ hideout. The base was surrounded by special services’ troops, and, after two airstrikes, it was attacked on land. The militants desperately fought back, killing two security forces officers and one policeman, but, finally, the terrorists were all killed.

The dead militants are still to be identified, but there are probably several top terrorist leaders among them. One of them may be Doku Umarov, the man behind the Domodedovo explosion and the two explosions in the Moscow subway one year ago. There is information that Umarov had strong links with Al Qaeda and was financed by it.

For several years, terrorism in Russia’s Caucasus is one of the government’s biggest headaches. Mass unemployment among young people and other social problems in this region feed terrorism. This is used by terrorist leaders from abroad to stir anti-government moods in Russia’s Caucasus. For all the efforts of the federal security forces to fight terrorism, the situation might have been better if the local authorities had done more to stabilize the social and economic situation in the region.

A veteran of Russian special forces Sergey Goncharov says:

“This operation to destroy the terrorists’ base was done so perfectly that it deserves to be put down into manuals for special forces servicemen. One of the terrorists’ major hotbeds has now been liquidated. Unfortunately, this still cannot be called the end of terrorism in Russia’s Caucasus. The situation can hardly change much for the better until the local population starts to actively cooperate with the federal forces.”

However, Chechnya’s head Ramzan Kadyrov says that if Doku Umarov is really dead, the situation in Russia’s Caucasus will be much more stable. People will stop living in fear and be more optimistic about the future.

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