MOSCOW (AFP) - Russia on Thursday ended an anti-terror operation in Chechnya that has been in place for a decade, amid growing stability in the territory torn by two wars since the collapse of Communism. The operation saw Russian forces defeat separatist rebels who had gained control of the majority Muslim region and its end could see Moscow withdraw thousands of members of the security forces from Chechnya. The head of the Federal Security Service (FSB, ex-KGB) Alexander Bortnikov cancelled the decree imposing an anti-terror operation on the territory of Chechnya, effective from midnight, Russias anti-terror committee said. The decision is aimed at creating the conditions for the future normalisation of the situation in the republic, its reconstruction and development of its socio-economic sphere, it said in a statement. The decree ordering the start of the counter-terrorist operation was passed under late president Boris Yeltsin in 1999, just months before he resigned and installed Vladimir Putin at the helm. Russia fought two full-scale wars with separatist forces in Chechnya after the collapse of the Soviet Union, but the situation has largely stabilised in recent years under strongman pro-Moscow local leader Ramzan Kadyrov. The statement gave no details on the immediate consequences of the removal of the operation. But the measure could see the numbers of Russain security forces reduced and Kadyrov increase his control over the regions security. The Interfax news agency quoted a Russian security source as saying that as many as 20,000 troops and police could now be withdrawn from the region. Basically this would affect security forces who are sent to Chechnya from Russias regions and also servicemen from the internal forces, said the source, who was not named. Kadyrov, the son of former Chechen leader Akhmad Kadyrov who died in a bomb blast in 2004 in Grozny, expressed great satisfaction over the removal of the anti-terror operation. Today Chechnya-as thousands of guests can testify-is a peaceful developing area and the cancellation of the operation will only encourage its economic growth, he told Interfax. The militant leaders-on whose conscience lies the pain and suffering of thousands of people-have been eliminated, captured or taken to court. Kadyrov had called for the elimination of the regime to allow Chechnya to establish its own customs system which would then permit the airport in the capital Grozny to receive international flights. International flights would speed up the reconstruction of Chechnya by delivering materials direct from abroad and also give the region the international stature that Kadyrov craves. Kadyrov, himself an ex-rebel, has been heavily criticised for his strongman tactics by rights groups, who accuse him of torture and using his own personal forces to crack down on critics. He has also aroused attention for eccentric behaviour which include maintaining his own private zoo in Grozny containing tigers, leopards, bears and panthers. Recent year have seen Kadyrov place increasing emphasis on Islam, making highly-