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Four militants, one officer killed in Chechnya special operation

GROZNY, December 16 (RIA Novosti) - Four militants and one interior officer have been killed in a special operation in the Republic of Chechnya in Russia's troubled North Caucasus region, the republican interior ministry said on Sunday.

After receiving information about the location of a militant group, special police forces launched at about 11:00 p.m. Moscow time (8:00 p.m. GMT) on Saturday an operation to detain them by blocking a five-storey apartment building in the Leninsky district in Grozny, Chechen Interior Minister Ruslan Alkhanov said.

The militants put up armed resistance. As a result of combat engagement, one police officer died and three others were wounded. Local residents had been timely evacuated from the apartment building and did not suffer during the operation, Alkhanov said.

The Chechen interior minister said the militants that had been killed were responsible for a series of attacks on police in the republic.

Chechnya saw two military campaigns in the 1990s-early 2000s, as Moscow sought to restore control over the mountainous republic, ruled at the time by a separatist regime.

Although the active phase of the war is over, sporadic clashes with militants and terrorist attacks are common in the troubled republic, as well as in adjacent republics such as Ingushetia and Daghestan.

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