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292 Chechen militants and their abettors have turned themselves in to police
As of Thursday, 292 Chechen militants and their abettors have turned themselves in to police, Deputy Chechen Prosecutor Nikolai Kalugin told Itar-Tass. After a check, criminal proceedings against 247 former gunmen were dropped; a check against the rest is continuing," Kalugin said. Criminal cases have been opened against two surrendered militants. Chechnya's Deputy Prime Minister Adam Delimkhanov said 35 militants, including four or five leaders of small gangs, surrendered to law-enforcement authorities in the town of Gudermes earlier on Thursday. "These are members of various gangs and their accomplices," spokesman for the regional operations headquarters Col Nikolai Varavin told Tass. One of the surrendered militants was a member of the gang subordinate to Doku Umarov, he said. "It's most likely that these people, who agreed to lay down arms under the guarantee of Chechen Prime Minister Ramzan Kadyrov, have not committed serious crimes," Varavin said, adding that the gunmen had surrendered assault rifles, grenades, grenade launchers and other weapons. Among them are residents of the Grozny, Sunzha, Achkhoi-Martan, Urus-Martan and Gudermes districts. "It's the largest voluntary surrender in the republic since the amnesty was announced," the spokesman said. "Some of those who joined gangs and those who surrendered arms come from well-to-do families," he said. Delimkhanov said 287 militants had surrendered since the call by head of the National Antiterrorist Committee /NAK/ Nikolai Patrushev to gunmen in Chechnya to lay down arms. He said he could not name the number of the remaining militants in Chechnya. "They may number 150 today and 300 tomorrow, and vice versa," he said, adding that the number of Chechens in gangs does not exceed 50. "We're actively working toward their quitting armed groups, through their relatives, elders, public organizations etc," said the deputy prime minister who in charge of the law-enforcement bodies in the Chechen government. The State Duma approved amnesty for participants in the fighting in the North Caucasus on September 22. During the previous mass surrender, 49 militants and their accomplices turned themselves in to authorities.
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