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Chechen president fights militants in home village

By the CNN Wire Staff
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Militants attacked the village that is home to the president
  • The president was home at the time and helped lead the operation
  • Twelve militants and five police officers were killed

(CNN) -- Twelve militants and five police officers were killed Sunday morning in a confrontation that was led by Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov himself, the Russia's official RIA Novosti news agency reported.

Seventeen police officers and seven civilians were injured in the fighting.

Seven of the Chechen militants blew themselves up during the clashes and it appeared impossible that their bodies would be identified, a spokesman for the regional investigators office said, according to RIA Novosti.

The bodies of four others were fingerprinted for identification, and one was identified as a militant who was on a federal wanted list for participation in illegal armed groups, the spokesman said.

The confrontation occurred in the village of Tsenteroi, the home of the Chechen president, who was there at the time of the attack. It was the first attack there in six years, the news agency reported.

The president himself ordered police to intercept the militants, RIA Novosti reported. According to Kadyrov, the militants had attempted to enter the village at dawn, but were met by police.

"We had information (about the insurgents)," Kadyrov told Russian state television. "We waited for these scoundrels and we gave them a pass into the village to kill them, and the boys from the personal guard worked perfectly, killed 12 bandits on the spot."

He said that some miliants escaped, but was confident that they would be found. Authorities were searching for the remaining militants in a nearby forest.

As many as 30 militants could have been involved in the attack, the news agency reported.