GROZNY, May 22 (RIA Novosti) - Federal forces eliminated a bandit group consisting of six men, announced on Sunday Ilya Shabalkin, a spokesman for the regional operational headquarters for the counter-terrorist operation in the North Caucasus (ROH)."Yesterday, a federal forces special operations unit discovered a militants' base during a search mission in the Nozhai-Yurt region of Chechnya (neighboring on Daghestan in the east)," he said.
"In the course of a skirmish, six bandits were killed," Shabalkin said.
No casualties among federal soldiers were reported, he added.
According to ROH data, several bandits managed to escape in a forest. Federal forces delivered an artillery and mortar strike on the possible retreat routes of fleeing bandits.
At present, the search for remaining bandits continues. An team of investigators is working on the site of the skirmish.
Meanwhile, a member of bandit groups led by Chechen terrorist Shamil Basayev has been detained in Daghestan.
According to ROH, the bandit was captured yesterday at the central market in the town of Khasavyurt (30 kilometers from the border with Chechnya).
“The results of the investigation show that the detainee belongs to a bandit group which is part of Basayev’s bandit formation,” a ROH spokesman said.
The detainee participated in the 1999 attack on Daghestan led by Basayev and Khattab (a Jordanian mercenary eliminated by federal forces in April 2002), he said.
“Investigators are attempting to establish whether the detainee participated in other criminal activities,” the ROH spokesman added.
The identity of the detainee is not being revealed in the interests of the investigation.