An audacious overnight raid by heavily armed militants in a southern Russian republic neighboring Chechnya killed as many as 75 people and wounded dozens more before the fighters withdrew with minimal losses and a cache of captured weapons, officials said today. The raid, which began late Monday night with a series of attacks against police and security posts across the republic, Ingushetia, was the largest attack by Chechen separatist rebels outside Chechnya since 1999. And it appeared to catch police and security officers in the region off guard and ill prepared. President Vladimir V. Putin met with his law enforcement deputies in the Kremlin today. He vowed to retaliate for the raid, as he has before — though to little obvious effect — when the war in Chechnya has flared. “We have to find and destroy them,” Mr. Putin said sternly in remarks broadcast on the state television channels. “Those whom it is possible to take alive must be brought to trial.” The death toll remained unclear by tonight, but among the dead were at least 47 local police or security officers, the senior Kremlin official in the region, Vladimir Y. Yakovlev, said, according to the Interfax news agency. At least four police officers were listed as missing in action. The office of Ingushetia’s president said at least 28 civilians also died.Full Story
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