Police to coordinate Chechen anti-terrorist operation beginning July 1

The leadership of the counter-terrorist operation in Chechnya is being transferred from the Federal Security Service, or the FSB, to the Interior Ministry on July 1st, Chechnya's army commandant Yevgeny Abrashin announced during a meeting with a European Parliament delegation that is currently on an instructional trip around Chechnya.

"On July 1st, the Regional Operational Headquarters for co-ordinating the counter-terrorist operation in the North Caucasus begins transferring the leadership from the FSB to the Interior Ministry. The process will be over by September 1st," said Abrashin. According to his words, one of the deputy interior ministers will be appointed head of the Regional Operational Headquarters on July 1st.

"There has also been a decision to switch over from the counter-terrorist operation to measures to ensure law and order," he stressed. "This process will take some time." The authorities have already disbanded the Defence Ministry's army commandants' offices in 15 Chechen districts, replacing them with Interior Ministry commandants' offices. The 42nd Motor Rifle Division of the Defence Ministry and the 46th Brigade of the Interior Ministry troops have remained in the republic.

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