All militants in Chechen parliament raid killed

October 19, 2010 12:00 am

, MOSCOW, Oct 19 – All the militants who stormed the parliament building in Chechnya on Tuesday have been killed, an official said.

"All the militants who attacked the Chechen parliament have been killed by government forces," a spokesman for the Chechen parliament Zelim Yakhikhanov told AFP.

"The operation is over and all the terrorists were liquidated, according to the Chechen interior ministry," he said, adding he personally saw four or five attackers.

Russian news agency reports said that two militants blew themselves up in suicide attacks and another was killed in an exchange of fire.

A number of guards at the parliament were killed and an aide to the speaker wounded.

The Kremlin has been fighting insurgents in the Northern Caucasus since after the collapse of the Soviet Union, waging a war in 1994-1996 against separatist rebels in Chechnya.

However, after a second war broke out in Chechnya in 1999, the rebellion\’s inspiration moved towards Islam with the aim of imposing an Islamic state in the region.

Although the war ended in 2000, rebels have waged an increasingly deadly insurgency with unrest spreading into other areas of the Northern Caucasus such as Dagestan and Ingushetia.

Chechnya has in the past years seen a relative improvement in security under its strongman leader Ramzan Kadyrov although attacks remain a common occurrence.

But Kadyrov, himself an ex-rebel, has been heavily criticised for his tough tactics by rights groups, who accuse him of torture and using his own personal forces to crack down on critics.

Russia remains on high alert for militant attacks after the double bombings carried out by two female suicide bombers on the Moscow metro on March 29 killed 40 and wounded more than 100.

Over 330 people were killed in Russia\’s most shocking hostage tragedy in 2004 when Chechen militants stormed a school in the town of Beslan in the Northern Cacuasus region of North Ossetia.


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