Russian forces kill hostage takers at detention facility

Police officers and men in military fatigues stand near vans
Russian police officers and members of Rosgvardiya, a Russian national guard, gather not far from a pretrial detention center in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, on Sunday.
(Via Associated Press)
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Security forces stormed a detention center in southern Russia on Sunday, killing inmates accused of links to Islamist terror cells who had taken two staff members hostage, state-funded news channel RT reported.

Journalists on the scene reported the sounds of gunfire, while multiple ambulances were seen arriving at the prison in footage on social media.

The hostages at the pretrial detention center in Rostov-on-Don were uninjured, Russia’s Federal Penitentiary Service said in an official statement.


It said that the hostage takers had been “liquidated,” but did not comment further.

A number of local news outlets, including RT, reported that at least some of the prisoners had been killed.

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Earlier, state news agency Tass, citing unnamed sources in law enforcement, had said that six hostage takers were in the central courtyard of the Rostov region’s Detention Center No. 1, armed with a penknife, a rubber baton and a fire ax. The prisoners include men accused of links to the Islamic State group, it said.

Images posted on social media appeared to show at least two of the hostage-takers wearing a headband that resembled the Islamic State’s flag. Other images showed prisoners wielding knives.

RT reported that three of the hostage-takers had already been sentenced on terrorism charges, including disseminating extremist information and plotting to blow up a Russian courthouse.

IS has carried out a number of attacks on Russian soil in recent years. An affiliate of IS claimed responsibility for the most recent attack in March, when gunmen opened fire on a crowd at a concert hall in suburban Moscow, killing 145 people.

Russia says the death toll in the Moscow concert attack rose to 133. Islamic State claims responsibility, yet Putin accuses Ukraine of involvement.

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