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  Wednesday, December 11, 2019
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Russia's anti-terrorism authorities may give gunmen in the troubled North Caucasus region one more chance to return to peaceful life
Russia's anti-terrorism authorities may give gunmen in the troubled North Caucasus region one more chance to return to peaceful life, a senior security official said Tuesday. Vladimir Bulavin, deputy head of the Federal Security Service (FSB), said the National Anti-Terrorism Committee is considering declaring another amnesty for militants in Chechnya and adjacent provinces who are not suspected of involvement in any major crimes. Nearly 550 militants voluntarily turned themselves in to police under the latest, six-month amnesty, declared in mid-July, Bulavin said. They surrendered a total of 70 automatic rifles and machine guns, 14 explosive devices, and 30 kilograms of explosives. The previous amnesty was prompted by the killing in a security operation of Shamil Basayev, the Chechen warlord behind some of the most gruesome terrorist attacks on Russian soil, including the September 2004 Beslan school siege. Earlier on Tuesday, FSB head Nikolai Patrushev said more than 300 terrorist attacks had been prevented in Russia in 2006, and that a total of 120 bandits and international terrorist organizations' emissaries had been killed or arrested. Combat operations officially ended in Chechnya five years ago, leaving about 100,000 people dead. Yet, sporadic fighting goes on here to this day and militants continue attacks against security forces and civilians in the republic and elsewhere in the North Caucasus.
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