Special forces officers killed two men and detained one more outside Moscow on suspicion that they were plotting a terror attack in the city, the National Anti-Terrorism Committee said.
The officers came under fire when they surrounded a house with the suspects on Monday in the city of Orekhovo-Zuyevo, roughly 80 kilometers from Moscow, and demanded that they surrender.
In the ensuing firefight, the officers shot and killed two of the suspects, and captured another, the committee said.
One special forces officer suffered a light wound. There were no civilian casualties.
“The decisive actions of law enforcement agencies foiled an effort to commit a terror attack in the capital,” the committee said in a statement late Monday.
The suspects are Russian citizens who returned from Afghanistan or Pakistan, where they received battle training and prepared to carry out terror attacks, the statement said.
The Federal Security Service briefed President Vladimir Putin about the operation and kept him updated about its progress, his spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, Interfax reported.
A law enforcement source told the news agency that the men were planning to strike a large-scale public gathering in Moscow. Security officers acted on intelligence data, the source added.
Another law enforcement source told Interfax that the men had lived in Pakistan and practiced Islam.
Security officers had kept them under surveillance for a month.
Intelligence showed that the men, whose names weren’t released, underwent training in Northern Waziristan, a mountainous patch of land in Pakistan, the source said.