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Russia's Medvedev orders total mine clearance in Chechnya

RIA Novosti

16:32 17/08/2010

SOCHI, August 17 (RIA Novosti) - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has ordered the clearance of all mines in the North Caucasus republic of Chechnya.

Russia fought two wars against separatists in Chechnya in the 1990s and early 2000s and some 14,000 hectares of the republic's territory remain mined to this day.

Medvedev raised the issue of the mine clearance process during his meeting with Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov.

"We have to put our territories... in order, this is absolutely clear," Medvedev said, adding that he would order the Defense and Emergency Situations Ministries and other official bodies to work on the issue.

Kadyrov said peaceful citizens were still being killed far too often from mine explosions across the republic.

In November last year law enforcement officers defused eight booby-trap mines on the border between Chechnya and the volatile republic of Dagestan.

Russia's North Caucasus republics, in particular Chechnya, Dagestan and Ingushetia, have seen frequent attacks on police and officials despite the end of a decade-long special regime for counterterrorism operations in Chechnya last year.

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