Chechnya: Security measures stepped up in Grozny

Security measures aimed at ruling out guerilla terrorist acts have been considerably stepped up in Grozny on the eve of the referendum that is to take place on March 23.

"Apart from planned events and additional measures aimed at maintaining law and order, the decision was taken to strengthen ID checks in the vicinity of government buildings on the crossroads of the Staropromyslovsky highway and Garazhnaya Street, where apart from Chechen government and administration offices, the Chechen prosecutor's office, Federal Security Service department for Chechnya and election commission are located," a source in the Chechen Interior Ministry told Interfax- Military News Agency on Thursday.

"Starting from today traffic of vehicles and pedestrians is reduced in the area, and guards only let in vehicles with special IDs, which number is limited," the source said.

According to him, for the first time during the work of the Chechen government, a curfew was imposed and patrols established in the vicinity of its offices.

"The movement of people on the territory adjacent to government offices is forbidden from 10:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m., all the buildings and service rooms of the Chechen administration and government are regularly checked by policemen with sniffer dogs to make sure that there are no explosive devices," the source stressed.

Security measures will be in force at least until the referendum day. Their cancellation will be announced separately. (Interfax-AVN)

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