Russian forces have killed 49 people in raids across the North Caucasus, according to a news report. Clashes between police and extremists are common in the region, which includes the war-torn republic of Chechnya.
In addition to those killed, Russian security forces arrested about 30 men and another 20 turned themselves in after being "convinced" by the police, according to a report cited by the news agency Interfax. The report did not give the date of the raids in Dagestan, about 1,050 kilometers (654 miles) south of Moscow, and Nalchik, the main city in the separatist-leaning Kabardino-Balkaria district.
"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," the statement read, as quoted by Interfax.
In Dagestan, troops killed five extremists suspected of carrying out several terror attacks, according to the report. Special forces in Nalchik killed four terrorist leaders thought to be behind the murders several judges and police officers.
The authorities also seized hundreds of firearms, mines, grenades and other explosives, and an estimated 19,000 rounds of ammunition from dozens of hideouts, according to the report.
mkg/pfd (dpa, AFP)