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Homeland Security

Medvedev outlines anti-terrorism strategy for North Caucasus

RIA Novosti


MAKHACHKALA, April 1 (RIA Novosti) - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Thursday listed five main components of the fight against terrorism in Russia's North Caucasus region.

Medvedev arrived on Thursday in Russia's North Caucasus republic of Dagestan following recent terrorist attacks in Moscow and the Dagestani town of Kizlyar.

"These measures include the strengthening of law enforcement agencies, the Interior Ministry, the Federal Security Service and the courts," Medvedev said at a meeting with security officials in Makhachkala.

"We must deliver pinpointed, lightning strikes against terrorists, kill them and destroy their hideouts; we must help those who decided to leave the terrorists' ranks; we must develop the economy, education, culture; we must strengthen the moral and spiritual aspects," the president said.

"Only if we put all these components together we will succeed," Medvedev added.

The Russian president also called on Thursday for tougher action against global terrorism.

"The range of anti-terrorism measures must be expanded; they should be not only more effective, but also more harsh, merciless and preventive. We must punish them [the terrorists]," the Russian president said.

Two explosions on Wednesday in Kizlyar, near Dagestan's border with Chechnya, killed 12 people and left 29 people injured.

The blasts in Dagestan occurred just two days after two deadly suicide bombings hit the Moscow metro on Monday, killing at least 39 people and injuring dozens more.

Medvedev earlier said the attacks in Moscow and Dagestan were linked and were aimed at destabilizing the situation in the country.

Chechen militant leader Doku Umarov claimed responsibility on Wednesday for the metro attacks, saying in a video message that the attacks were retaliation for operations carried out by federal security forces. He also pledged further attacks.

Russia has been fighting militants in the North Caucasus for almost two decades, including two brutal wars against separatists in Chechnya. Analysts suggested that the recent attacks were revenge for a recent police operation that saw the deaths of over 20 radical Islamic fighters.

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