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Gunmen who were killed in a special police operation
Gunmen who were killed in a special police operation in the largest city in Russia's North Caucasus republic of Ingushetia, had planned terrorist attacks against top Ingush officials, the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) said on Saturday.

"Acting on orders from militant leader A. Taziyev a.k.a. "Magas," one Mutaliyev a.k.a. "Abdullah" sent in January 2009 a group of suicide-bombers to Nazran to prepare terrorist attacks against newly-appointed Ingush leaders," the FSB said in statement.

On Thursday morning, police cornered several militants in a house in southwest Nazran. The subsequent shootout lasted for an hour and a half before the house was blown up by the occupants. Four police officers were killed and three injured in the operation.

Earlier reports said three militants, including one woman, died in the explosion, which had the force of the equivalent of 200 kilograms of TNT. Three nearby houses and a number of cars were damaged.

Police also found six explosive devices with the equivalent of over 1 ton of TNT, firearms and ammunition at the site.

"A large number of explosives in the house indicates that the hideout could have been used as an explosives-making lab," the FSB statement said.

FSB suspects that the same group carried out a number of terrorist attacks in Ingushetia in June-December last year.

Ingush authorities earlier said some 120 militants are currently active in Ingushetia, along with almost 1,240 sympathizers, while in neighboring Chechnya the number of militants and their supporters is approximately 500 people.


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