( RIA Novosti ) - Police have detained four suspected militants in the past 24 hours in the Republic of Chechnya in Russia's North Caucasus, local authorities said on Thursday.
According to the Chechen Interior Ministry, during a search operation police detained three men in Grozny suspected of being involved in illegal armed groups active in Chechnya's capital.
Police also detained a gunman in the Sunzha district in western Chechnya suspected of involvement in illegal armed groups. The militant surrendered a Kalashnikov automatic rifle he kept at his home, along with an ammunition cache, the ministry said.
Chechnya was devastated by two military campaigns in 1994-1996 and 1999-2001, after which Moscow significantly scaled back its military presence in the province. However, sporadic fighting and terrorist attacks still occur in the area, despite a widely publicized amnesty announced by Russian authorities.
The amnesty followed the killing by federal troops of notorious Chechen terrorist Shamil Basayev, who was behind the 2004 Beslan school siege and other atrocities.
More than 600 militants in Chechnya and adjacent provinces reportedly surrendered their arms last year in response to a six-month amnesty declared by the Russian government on July 15 for those not involved in serious crimes.