'Militants' strike Chechen presidents home village

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'Militants' strike Chechen presidents home village

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At least 19 people have been killed in a gun battle in the birth place of Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov.

The Kremlin-backed leader personally took charge of a counter offensive operation after a group of 30 suspected separatists reportedly stormed the village of Tsentoroi.

The bodies of 12 alleged insurgents and their weapons were shown off to the media.

Five civilians were also reportedly killed in the bloodshed along with two members of Kadyrov’s personal protection force.

The Chechan leader said: ‘‘We had the information about them, we were waiting for them in the suburbs of Tsenteroy. We let them in to this village, for them not to run away. We even had an idea of the place where they could be killed. The men from my private security force, so-called R-group, they did an excellent job.

The latest offensive in Chechnya follows other counter insurgency missions launched in Russia’s volatile North Caucasus region.

On Saturday, nine suspected militants were killed in shootouts with security forces in the Republic of Kabardino-Balkariya

Five alleged rebels and two police officers also died in another gun battle in Dagestan.