133 interior ministry servicemen killed in Chechnya since the beginning of 2002

133 servicemen of the Russian interior ministry troops were killed while on active duty in Chechnya since the beginning of this year, General of the Army Vyacheslav Tikhomirov, a deputy Interior Minister, told a session of the Military Council of the Russian interior ministry on Friday. "Despite the expansion of international terrorism, an increase in some kinds of crimes inside the country and the tension that perseveres in certain regions, interior ministry soldiers managed to cope with the tasks that were facing them," he said.

The troops have recently been supplied with new auto vehicles and armor, reported Tikhomirov, adding that the troops had been cut down to 193,000 from the previous number of 196,000 in the course of an interior troops reform.

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