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THURSDAY, 17 APR 2014
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Russia says kills leader of Caucasus militant group, 3 others
Reuters
A handout picture taken during the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic torch relay on December 15, 2013, and released by the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics Organizing Committee shows a torchbearer riding with an Olympic torch in a snowmobile in Russia's Urals city of Kurgan, 1750  km (1087 miles) east of Moscow. Russian torchbearers has started in October the history's longest Olympic torch relay ahead of Winter Games in Sochi, which will take the flame across the country through all 83 of its regions, including extreme locales such as Chukotka, the remote region in Russia's Far East, the turbulent North Caucasus, and even Russia's European exclave Kaliningrad. AFP PHOTO / SOCHI 2014 ORGANIZING COMMITTEE
RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / SOCHI 2014 ORGANIZING COMMITTEE" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS-
A handout picture taken during the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic torch relay on December 15, 2013, and released by the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics Organizing Committee shows a torchbearer riding with an Olympic torch in a snowmobile in Russia's Urals city of Kurgan, 1750 km (1087 miles) east of Moscow. Russian torchbearers has started in October the history's longest Olympic torch relay ahead of Winter Games in Sochi, which will take the flame across the country through all 83 of its regions, includ
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MOSCOW: Russian security forces have killed four alleged militants including the leader of a group suspected of carrying out attacks on tourists and ski facilities in the North Caucasus, a government agency said on Monday.

The suspects were killed by FSB security service officers who besieged a home in Kabardino-Balkaria province near Mount Elbrus, Europe's highest peak and a destination for skiers and climbers, the National Anti-Terrorist Committee said.

Kabardino-Balkaria lies about halfway between Chechnya, the site of two post-Soviet separatist wars that led to an Islamist insurgency in the North Caucasus, and the resort city of Sochi, where Russia is holding the 2014 Winter Olympics in February.

It said the dead men included Arsen Khandokhov, whom it described as the leader of a militant cell suspected of crimes including the killing of two tourists and attacks on a ski lift.

Insurgent leader Doku Umarov urged followers in July to do their utmost to disrupt the Olympics, and President Vladimir Putin has tightened laws aimed at curbing Islamist militants and ordered the authorities to ensure security at the Games.

According to the website Caucasian Knot, Khandokhov fought in the breakaway Georgian province of Abkhazia two decades ago and later in Chechnya, joined militants in the Elbrus area after his release from jail and had recently become their leader.

 
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