Over 50 'IS militants' arrested in Chechnya, Kadyrov claims

Over 50 'IS militants' arrested in Chechnya, Kadyrov claims
2 min read
15 January, 2017
Security services in Chechnya arrested an armed group of insurgents linked to the Islamic State group following a huge operation led by controversial Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov.
Kadyrov is close to Vladamir Putin and backs Russia's war in Syria [Getty]

Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov has claimed that loyalist forces detained more than 50 insurgents linked to the Islamic State group, completing a major security operation on Saturday.

Kadyrov wrote on Instagram on Sunday that security forces had captured an armed group coordinated by a Chechen fighter located in Syria, with the latest arrests taking place in various locations on Saturday.

"Now the whole group of bandits has been neutralised and more than 50 members have been brought to police stations," Kadyrov said.

He also posted a video of himself speaking to a group of the captured men in Chechen.

The Moscow-backed leader of the North Caucasus region called the operation - planned since last summer - "a big success for the law enforcement agencies". 

The Russian North Caucasus is one of the major sources of foreign jihadis fighting in Syria and Iraq.

The Chechen leader said police on Saturday detained several participants of the armed group including an "especially dangerous terrorist" named as Imran Datsayev who threw a hand grenade but was captured alive.

He said Datsayev testified that he received orders from Islamic State group to kill a police officer and had killed a police sergeant last November.

Russia fought two brutal separatist wars over the past two decades in Chechnya but the region has been largely pacified under Kadyrov's iron-fisted rule.

A dwindling group of Islamist insurgents are still fighting the authorities in Chechnya and across the volatile North Caucasus, and sporadically launch eye-catching attacks.

Kadyrov, a former fighter against Russia's rule who now supports President Vladimir Putin, regularly announces raids to capture insurgents, which he sometimes personally coordinates.