Federal troops killed 20 rebels in three mountainous regions of Dagestan and freed 11 hostages in the course of special operations conducted December 16 and 17. The Internal Affairs Ministry told Rosbalt that special operations were conducted in Tsumadinsky, Bezhtinsky and Tsuntinsky regions of Dagestan and composed of army units, police, border guards and Federal Security Service forces. The rebels, which burst into Dagestan December 15, were surrounded by federal troops and cut off from possible routes to Georgia and Azerbaijan.
As a result of air strikes 8 rebels were killed on Tuesday, and 12 more rebels killed on Wednesday. The press service confirms that the special operation will be conducted until all rebel groups have been discovered and destroyed. According to preliminary reports, the number of rebels could be as high as 30 or 40. The rebels burst into Dagestan on December 15. Nine border guards were killed in a shootout with the bandits, who took eleven hostages including residents from several rural areas, three women and two children.