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Russia Says Hundreds Of Militants Neutralized In North Caucasus

The Russian Interior Ministry says hundreds of militants have been apprehended or killed in the volatile North Caucasus region in 2015.

The ministry's branch in the North Caucasus said in a statement on October 29 that "447 ringleaders and militants have been neutralized or detained" since January 1 in "1,345 successful security operations" held in the mainly Muslim-populated region.

Russia's North Caucasus region has been beset by violence linked to an Islamist insurgency rooted in two post-Soviet separatist wars in Chechnya as well as organized crime, political disputes, and clan rivalries.

Russian officials said earlier that a few thousand Russian citizens, mainly from the North Caucasus, were fighting along with Islamic militants in Syria and Iraq.

Based on reporting by and Interfax