Russia kills 17 Caucasus rebels in precision air strike

28th March 2011, Comments 0 comments

Russia announced Monday its air and ground forces had killed 17 rebels in a highly unusual precision strike on a Caucasus base used by Islamists to train suicide bombers and stage other attacks.

The National Anti-Terror Committee said Monday's special operation was planned by Russia's interior and defence ministries as part of a broader investigation into the deadly suicide bombing at Moscow's Domodedovo airport in January.

"A precision air force strike and ground operation has destroyed a base used by militants to prepare suicide bombers, including for acts of terror on the territories of North Ossetia and Ingushetia," news agencies quoted the Russian statement as saying.

The use of an air strike in the Northern Caucasus is a highly unusual tactic by the Russian security forces.

"According to preliminary information, 17 bandits have been destroyed and two participants of the act of terror at Domodedovo have been detained," the National Anti-Terror Committee said.

It said the pair were detained in Ingushetia but did not give further details on the location of the security operation.

The January 24 suicide blast killed killed 37 people at Russia's busiest airport in an attack claimed by feared Chechen Islamist Doku Umarov.

© 2011 AFP

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