Russia troops kill 49 militants in North Caucasus sweep
MOSCOW (AFP) - Russian troops on Sunday reported killing 49 militants in a massive security sweep that followed angry comments from President Vladimir Putin about raging violence in the troubled North Caucasus.
The National Anti-Terror Committee said the operation was conducted across several republics of the volatile Muslim region and resulted in the removal of some of the most "odious" guerrilla commanders and their followers.
"The coordinated action helped terminate the activities of several odious gang leaders, gang members and their associates, substantially damaging the system under which the bandits operate," Interfax quoted a committee statement as saying.
The committee said the "large-scale and massive" raids involved both local and federal troops and that 90 militia bases had been destroyed.