May 06, 2009

Russia returns to Chechen anti-terrorism operations

By Moscow correspondent Scott Bevan

Just a week after formally ending its counter-terrorism military program in Chechnya, Russia has re-started operations in parts of the conflict-torn republic.

Russia's Interior Ministry has announced that military operations have been re-introduced in three districts of Chechnya.

The RIA Novosti newsagency says the operations have been relaunched because of what the ministry calls "activity among illegal armed groups".

Last week, Russia officially ended its decade-long counter-terrorism operation in its southern republic, saying its forces had defeated separatist rebels and that stability was being restored to Chechnya.

But outbursts of violence and attacks continue. Earlier this week, three Russian soldiers were killed by gunmen.