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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Chechnya Orders Crime Crackdown

GROZNY -- Chechen authorities on Monday initiated a crime crackdown ordered by President Aslan Maskhadov, stopping drivers and searching buildings in a campaign to restore order to the republic.

Joint police and army patrols set up checkpoints in the capital Grozny and other towns, with orders to seize drivers and vehicles without proper registration papers, Itar-Tass reported.

Basements and attics of apartment houses and war-damaged office buildings also were being searched.

Maskhadov, after signing a formal peace treaty with Russia on April 30, is anxious to put a halt to runaway crime in his secessionist republic, still teeming with weapons after a 21-month war with Russia.

He has ordered armed groups in Chechnya to disband in a bid to demilitarize the republic.