Russia's Chechnya chief says dozens of militants captured: reports

Ramzan Kadyrov, head of Russia's Chechnya, waits before an annual state of the nation address attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, December 1, 2016. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Dozens of militants were detained and four of them killed in a security operation in Russia’s southern region of Chechnya on Wednesday, the provincial head was quoted by local news agencies as saying.

Moscow has waged two wars against separatists in its predominantly Muslim region since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. The province is now governed by Ramzan Kadyrov, a former rebel fighter now loyal to President Vladimir Putin.

The security situation in the North Caucasus region remains volatile as unemployment and corruption is rife, pushing some young men to embrace radical versions of Islam.

“Four militants were annihilated during a special operation on Wednesday evening,” Kadyrov is quoted as saying by TASS news agency. He said one of the local security personnel was killed.

Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; editing by Ralph Boulton