12 militants killed in sweep in southern Russia

Police and security forces have killed 12 suspected militants during a sweep in a volatile province in southern Russia, officials said Thursday. The two-day security sweep which ended Thursday targeted a group of militants hiding in the forested mountains of Ingushetia province, according to the regional branch of the Russian Interior Ministry. Police and security agents found a large number of weapons and ammunition that belonged to the militants, the ministry branch said. Ingushetia sits to the west of Chechnya, where large-scale battles between Russian troops and separatists ended years ago. Militants based in Chechnya continue, however, to stage regular attacks against authorities, and the violence often has spilled to neighboring North Caucasus provinces.