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RIA Novosti

MOSCOW, March 9 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian Interior Ministry has increased its attention to anti-terrorist operations, Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev said.

"Today we are conducting serious operations in the North Caucasus. Since last year, as you know, it is the Interior Ministry that is in charge of conducting anti-terrorist operations," Mr. Nurgaliyev said at the State Duma, answering deputies questions.

According to Mr. Nurgaliyev, the current number of Interior Ministry staff is enough to accomplish the ministry's goals.

"There are about 1,397 thousand staff members in the ministry. Having such a force we can tackle the tasks ahead," Mr. Nurgaliyev continued.

"The Interior Ministry is transparent today. In many cases, we are ready to give answers and grant the necessary amount of information that case confidentiality allows," Mr. Nurgaliyev said. He was addressing the causes of protracting the investigation of the cases concerning the crimes in Karachai-Circassia (the murder of seven republic residents on October 11, 2004) and in the North Ossetian town of Beslan (the capture of the school by terrorists on September 1-3, 2004), and also the closed nature of the investigation. Karachai-Circassia and North Ossetia are located in the North Caucasus.

"We are ready for cooperation with public organizations with regard to the investigation of these and other cases," Mr. Nurgaliyev added.

He also said that the Interior Ministry had drafted 15 amendments to migration legislation.

"We shall submit about 15 amendments (to the migration legislation) to the government to make it possible for us to competently handle our tasks," Mr. Nurgaliyev said.

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