MOSCOW - Russian security forces have killed 49 militants in an operation across the North Caucasus region, where rebels are fighting to carve out an Islamic state, Russia's top anti-terrorism body said on Sunday.

The agency, which serves as a mouthpiece for law enforcement agencies operating in the region, gave no time period for the operation, which was launched days after President Vladimir Putin led a meeting of the country's Security Council.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

Putin has pushed the North Caucasus insurgency, rooted in two separatist wars in Chechnya, back to the forefront of national politics.

Think others should know about this? Please share