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Daghestani Official Assesses Insurgency's Strength

MAKHACHKALA, Daghestan -- Daghestan's acting deputy interior minister has given a detailed analysis of the Islamic insurgency's capabilities in his republic, RFE/RL's North Caucasus Service reports.

Aleksandr Trofimov told journalists in the Daghestani capital, Makhachkala, on December 10 that the Islamic militants operating in the republic are divided into six groups, each consisting of about 150 men and operating in a separate geographic location.

Trofimov said 111 insurgents have been apprehended by security forces in the republic thus far this year.

He added that overall the insurgents carried out 123 attacks against security forces and federal officials, killing 76 police and other security personnel and injuring 155.

Trofimov rejected the perception that police are under orders to kill militants rather than to apprehend them.

Daghestan and neighboring Chechnya and Ingushetia are the most volatile republics in Russia's North Caucasus, with hundreds of security officers, insurgents, and civilians being killed in the region this year.