Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov says Russian special forces have shot dead seven militants during a special operation on the edge of Grozny. Ashraf Fahim reports.
Russian special forces reportedly killed seven militants in Chechyna on Sunday. The killings come a day after an attack on police officers in which one policeman was killed, according to TASS, the Russian News Agency. A video released by the Chechnyan presidency showed soldiers exchanging fire in the snow covered fields at the edge of Grozny, the capital. Chechnyan president Ramzan Kadyrov can be seen standing with the troops. Moscow has fought two wars with separatists in the mainly Muslim internal republic since the Soviet collapse in 1991. Critics accuse President Kadyrov of human rights abuses against the insurgents. Such shoot-outs have become relatively rare in Chechnya, but the wider North Caucasus region remains volatile with unemployment and corruption pushing some young men to embrace radical Islam. President Kadyrov, an ally of Russian President Putin, is himself a former Islamist rebel.