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Russia's Counterterrorism Committee Lists Achievements

Andrei Przhezdomsky, the special representative of Russia's Counterterrorism Committee (NAK), listed the committee's achievements at a press conference on December 14.

Przhezdomsky claimed some 360 "militants' were killed so far this year, "99 percent of them in the North Caucasus," but he recalled that there had been terrorist attacks in Tatarstan during the year.

He said the number of victims of terrorism in 2012 decreased to 58 from 128 in 2011.

Przhezdomsky said 466 "improvised explosive devices, some of which were already functional" were seized, including 21 suicide bomber belts.

The NAK representative attributed part of the committee's success to a system of three elements -- "the prevention of terrorist attacks, the arrest of suspected terrorists, and minimizing the damage from acts of terror."

Przhezdomsky also credited better coordination between authorities and law enforcement agencies for the advances that the committee claims to have made in the battle against terrorism and terrorists.

He said a "total of 515 militant bases and arms caches" were located this year and nearly 1,500 were found in the last four years.

Przhezdomsky said some of the militant bases had "laboratories, fortified bunkers and [supplies] that could allow people to live there autonomously."

Przhezdomsky also warned that there are more than 7,000 websites that the NAK has identified as "terrorist" websites, "some 500 of which are in Russian."

Przhezdomsky said that while it was possible to "fight" such websites in Russia, many sites such as KavkazTsentr, a Chechen rebel website, are posting material from outside Russian borders.

Przhezdomsky said even the popular website YouTube "is filled with terrorist elements."

Russia has been battling militants in its North Caucasus for years.

The country is due to host the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, which is not far from the North Caucasus.

Earlier this year, Russian President Vladimir Putin instructed the country's law enforcement agencies to boost efforts to bring security to republics such as Chechnya, Daghestan, Ingushetia, and Kabardino-Balkariya in the North Caucasus.

With reporting by Interfax and ITAR-TASS
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