MOSCOW, January 22 (RIA Novosti) – A total of 42 militants were killed in Russia’s North Caucasus republic of Chechnya last year, the republic’s Interior Ministry said on Tuesday.
All of those “members of illegal armed formations” were killed because they refused to surrender and offered “armed resistance,” the ministry said in a release posted on its website.
In 2011, 56 militants were killed in Chechnya.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said in mid-October that more than 300 terrorists were killed in the North Caucasus “in the past few months.”
“Terrorism” in official Russian politics is used loosely and in preference to more neutral terms, such as “insurgency.”
Over a decade after the war against Islamist separatists in Chechnya ended, Russian security forces continue to fight militants in the volatile region.
The Islamist insurgency, once confined largely to Chechnya, has spread across the North Caucasus in recent years. Attacks on security forces, police and civilians are reported regularly in the neighboring republics of Dagestan, Ingushetia and Kabardino-Balkaria.