Number of North Caucasus terrorism-linked crimes down in 2012 - Interior Ministry

A total of 348 terrorism-related crimes have been committed in the North Caucasus since the beginning of 2012, a 10.8 percent decline compared to the same period last year, Sergei Chenchik, chief of the Russian Interior Ministry's North Caucasus branch, said.

"During search operations law enforcement agencies neutralized 379 gang members, including 48 gang leaders. As many as 456 militants were detained, among them seven gang leaders, and 44 members of armed groups voluntarily turned themselves in to police," Chenchik told journalists on Tuesday.

Security operations carried out in the region this year claimed the lives of 211 officers of law enforcement services and 75 civilians, he said. Another 402 officers and 179 civilians were injured.

"We have no right to say that the situation has stabilized completely, but there is a tendency toward it. We have been working consistently to neutralize militant groups," he said.

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