Russia

"Mopping-up" operations continue in Chechnya

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Timur Aliyev, North Caucasus -- In recent days massive "mopping-up" operations were conducted in several Chechen towns and villages.
Between January 7 and 9, the federal army and armoured vehicles blockaded the town of Argun. According to a representative of the military headquarters in Argun, the Federal Security Service and police carried out targeted passport inspections.

The inhabitants of Argun say that three people were killed and about 40 others detained during the operation. The military headquarters stated that these persons are suspected of being members of illegal armed formations. During the "mopping-up" operation, the roads leading into and out of Argun were closed.

"Mop-ups" were also carried out in several villages in the Kurchaloyski region from January 5 to 7. As a result, 7 people were arrested in Mesker-Yurt and some 20 persons in Tsotsan-Yurt.

On January 9, federal servicemen passing by in a military convoy encircled the central market in Grozny. According to market seller Khava Visaitova, they literally began looting. "The soldiers were taking things and groceries, firing into the air and threatening to start shooting at people if they encounter resistance," she said adding that they let a few detained men go as they were leaving the market.

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