World Bulletin / News Desk
Russian security forces have killed 49 suspected insurgents in an operation across the North Caucasus region, where insurgents are fighting to liberate Muslim states, Russia's top anti-terrorism body said on Sunday.
The agency, which serves as a mouthpiece for law enforcement agencies operating in the region, gave no time period for the operation, which was launched days after President Vladimir Putin led a meeting of the country's Security Council.
Putin has told security forces to ensure that fighters do not launch attacks on the 2014 Winter Olympics and other high profile events planned in Russia.
Operations, which can often take place in residential areas in the patchwork of regions that make up the North Caucasus, can last between a few hours to a number of weeks with the involvement of local police and special forces.
The Caucasus Emirate which leads the insurgency has vowed to attack the Olympic games to be held in Sochi, west of the predominantly Muslim region where they wage nearly daily operations against local authorities and law enforcement officers.
The Russian agency said nine local leaders were among those killed and that 30 fighters were detained. It said 90 bases had been destroyed along with 26 weapons caches.