Security forces trap militants in Grozny school building - Chechnya head

Several militants have been found hiding in a school building in the center of Grozny, the capital of Chechnya in Russia's North Caucasus, the republic's head Ramzan Kadyrov told reporters.

Several militants have been found hiding in a school building in the center of Grozny, the capital of Chechnya in Russia's North Caucasus, the republic's head Ramzan Kadyrov told reporters.

"They have already been trapped and an operation is under way to neutralize them," Kadyrov said.

Chechnya's head told reporters earlier that seven militants had been killed in a security operation carried out in the Press House in the center of Grozny.

Kadyrov told the Ekho Moskvy radio station that "several other [militants] are currently hiding in the school building."

The area surrounding the school building has been sealed off by security forces, Kadyrov said, adding he was certain that this operation would soon be completed.

"There were from eight to nine people, but five of them have already been eliminated. We have sealed off the site and will continue to eliminate these "shaitans", he said.

Chechen police were alerted earlier that militants had been plotting to stage crimes on Constitution Day in the republic, Kadyrov said.

"All necessary measures were taken to thwart these plans. Their plot was disrupted thanks to police officers' vigilance," he said.

"A new Press House will be built. We will not restore the old one. Rather, we will build a better and more beautiful one," he said.

No civilians have been hurt in this operation, Kadyrov said.

Last night, several gunmen killed three traffic police officers in the central part of Grozny and were then trapped by security forces inside the Press House.

Russia's National Antiterrorist Center reported that the gunmen had been travelling in three cars.

A counterterrorism operation continues in the center of Grozny.

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