Moscow, May 3 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Law enforcement personnel in Russia have killed 73 alleged Islamist insurgents in the North Caucasus region over the first three months of 2013, police said.
Eighty-seven alleged militants were slain over the same period of 2012, police said at the time.
Another 88 militants were detained in the first three months of 2013, and six others turned themselves in, a police spokesman said in the southern city of Pyatigorsk.
Last year, 133 suspected terrorists were arrested over the same period.
Law enforcement officers eliminated 26 militant hideouts and found 115 stashes with “tools of terror” in 2013, compared to last year’s tally of 24 hideouts and 59 stashes respectively, according to the North Caucasus Federal District police department.
The report, however, did not specify the losses among the law enforcement personnel, which stood at 57 dead over the first three months of 2012.
According to independent news website Kavkaz-uzel.ru, 21 servicemen were killed between January and March 2013. It put the militants’ losses at 83.
North Caucasus remains a hotbed of terrorist activity, the police spokesman admitted.
Attacks continue in the region on an almost daily basis, especially in Dagestan, where a bomb went off in a police car Thursday, though no one was injured.
Three policemen were shot dead in Dagestan by unidentified attackers Tuesday, and two teenagers were slain by a bomb in the republican capital Makhachkala the following day, though the latter attack was later blamed on racketeers, not militants.