STAVROPOL, February 10 (Itar-Tass) – A police officer died of his wounds after the operation to destroy militants in the southern Russian village of Tukui-Mekteb, bringing the law-enforcement death toll to six.
Lieutenant Ivan Voronin, 21, died in the Neftekumsk hospital, regional police told Itar-Tass.
The other fatalities are Captain Dmitry Dermansky, 26, Senior Lieutenant Artyom Yudin, 21, Lieutenant Yevgeny Kharchenko, 25, Sergeant Vladimir Bubnov, 21, and Ensign Andrei Silin, 31.
Another police officer – Ensign Vladimir Gorbov — is still reported missing, but his colleagues believe it was his body that was found after the operation near the house from which the militants had been firing back.
The body, mangled beyond recognition, was sent to a forensic laboratory.
Five other police have been hospitalized with wounds of various gravity. They are in stable condition, medics said.
In the course of the operation which ended on Friday afternoon, 12 militants were destroyed.
“Eleven gunmen were destroyed on the premises of a house where they had barricaded themselves. Another gangster was shot dead by search parties during escape attempt,” police told Tass.
The gunmen’s identities are being established.
Head of the Stavropol Territory’s department for combating organized crime Viktor Barnash told Tass by telephone that the destroyed militants had planned to carry out a number of terrorist attacks and seize a school.
“This group was well-armed; they had weapons and explosives which they planned to use in carrying out sabotage and acts of terror,” Barnash said.
“Police zeroed in on the group some time ago and has been monitoring its movement since,” he noted.
On Thursday, law-enforcement agents were checking a report on militants’ staying in the village of Tukui-Mekteb when they came under automatic fire. Authorities evacuated the residents of the neighboring houses, blocked the militants and called reinforcements.