Russian authorities claim to have 'liquidated' more than 140 alleged terrorists working in Russia in 2016.
Attacks thwarted by the police included a plot targeting the World Hockey Championship in May, said Igor Kulyagin, the head of the government’s National Anti-Terrorist Committee (NAC).
Kulyagin claimed that 24 of those killed had been identified as high-level officers within their respective terrorist groups, including the “odious leader” of the North Caucus branch of the Islamic State, Vilayat Kavkaz.
The group has been blamed for several attacks in Russia, including a bomb planted on a bus in the southern city of Volgograd in 2013, the Interfax news agency reported.
The NAC also announced that 11 members of an Islamic State terror cell had been arrested in Moscow and Yekaterinburg in 2016.
NAC spokesperson Andrei Przhezdomsky claimed that the group had been preparing attacks in Moscow and St. Petersburg.
"All members of the cell knew each other, were originally from countries in Central Asia, and were preparing attacks using improvised explosive devices in Moscow, St. Petersburg, the Sverdlovsk region,” he said.
Vilayat Kavkaz and the Islamic State are terrorist groups banned in Russia.