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Moscow Terror Plot Foiled After 2 Militants Killed, Russia Says

May 20 (Bloomberg) -- Russia’s security forces thwarted a planned terror attack in Moscow by striking against a group of three suspected militants near the country’s capital, according to the National Anti-Terrorist Committee.

Two militants believed to be involved in the plot were killed and another detained during an operation by the Federal Security Service in Orekhovo-Zuyevo in the Moscow region, an official at the committee’s information center said by phone today, declining to be identified in line with government policy. The suspected attackers were Russian citizens who had arrived from the “Afghan-Pakistan region,” where they received training in preparation for the assault, it said.

The raid by the FSB, as the main successor to the Soviet-era KGB is known in Russian, left one of its special forces lightly wounded, according to the committee, which is headed by FSB Director Alexander Bortnikov.

President Vladimir Putin was kept informed of the operation, his spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said by phone. The militants were blocked in a building and opened fire after refusing to surrender, the Anti-Terrorist Committee said, without elaborating when the operation took place.

Russia has suffered a series of terrorist attacks in recent years, including a suicide bombing claimed by Islamic militants at Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport, the busiest air hub in Russia, that killed at least 37 people in January 2011. Two car blasts rocked the regional capital of Makhachkala in the southern Russian region of Dagestan today, killing four people and injuring 35, according to the Health Ministry.

Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the brothers accused in last month’s Boston Marathon bombings, were immigrants of Chechen descent who had moved to the U.S. from Dagestan.

To contact the reporters on this story: Olga Tanas in Moscow at otanas@bloomberg.net; Ilya Arkhipov in Moscow at iarkhipov@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at bpenz@bloomberg.net

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