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Russia 'kills 8 IS militants' in Caucasus raid

AFP , Sunday 2 Aug 2015
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Russian security services said Sunday that they killed eight Islamists who had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group and were behind attacks in the Caucasus region.

Special forces clashed with a "group of armed persons" in a mountain forest area near to Chechnya, said the National Antiterrorist Committee, without saying when the incident happened.

"As a result of a firefight, eight militants were neutralised."

The committee added in a statement that the slain militants "recently pledged allegiance and joined the international terrorist organisation Islamic State" and were implicated in a series of police murders and other crimes.

The statement, published by Russian news agencies, said one of the men was identified as Adam Tagilov, who organised an armed raid on Grozny, the main city in Chechnya, in December 2014.

Fourteen security officers were killed when armed militants stormed several buildings in Grozny on the day of President Vladimir Putin's state of the nation address.

In June, Islamist militants in four regions of Russia's Caucasus pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group, which accepted their pledge and appointed a "governor" of the Caucasus.

Russia estimates that several thousand of its citizens are fighting for factions affiliated with IS jihadists in Syria, many of them from the Caucasus, where a simmering insurgency had existed since Moscow fought two wars with separatists in Chechnya.

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