In bleak conditions in the mountains of Chechnya security forces have mounted a special operation to flush out suspected terrorists.
One of the men they have killed has been identified as Abu Haled, said to be a notorious warlord. He is believed to have been responsible for training islamic rebels who have fought with pro-Kremlin authorities and Russian security forces for years.
“Abu Haled is a representative of al-Qaeda on the territory of Chechnya. He has been here for 15 years. He is an ideologist and chief financial supplier of Chechnya terrorists,” explained
Ruslan Alkhanov, Chechnya’s Interior Minister.
The ongoing operation in the difficult mountainous terrain began on Wednesday when the police surrounded up to 30 fighters. It is believed up to six other militants have been killed while three police officers have lost their lives. Security forces are on the lookout for two other suspects linked to al-Qaeda.
Violence in Chechnya has risen despite efforts to bring stability to the region following two separatist wars.