Source Pravda.Ru

Russian forces to strengthen up in the Caucasus region

On Thursday Russian President Vladimir Putin said, that Russia would increase its military presence in the troubled Caucasus region after an insurgents’ raid killed nearly 98 people in Ingushetia – a republic bordering rebellious Chechnya.

"We will step up our efforts in the North Caucasus and do whatever is necessary, including building up our military presence," he said during his visit to a base in the Far East, on which troops for "antiterrorist" operations are trained.

Ninety-eight people were officially confirmed killed and about 100 wounded in the rebels’ assault on Ingushetia, which happened on Tuesday. Most of them were police officers.

Militants were of Chechen and Ingush origin with a few Arabic mercenaries among them. Their casualties were approximately 25, with only two found right after the gunfight and around 20 found afterwards in secretly dug graves.

Twelve people have already been detained on suspicion they took part in this weeks attacks in the southern Russian region of Ingushetia, a top military officer said Thursday.

Col. Ilya Shabalkin, the spokesman for Russian forces in Chechnya, said three of the alleged attackers had been detained in an Ingush town and belonged to a gang led by Doku Umarov, who has previously been accused of serious crimes in the region.

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