Vakhabites Attack the City of Nalchik / News / News agency Inforos
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Vakhabites Attack the City of Nalchik

Thursday morning several groups of gunmen attacked simultaneously the offices of the republican Interior Ministry, the Federal Security Service (FSS), three militia stations, the Military Registration and Conscription Center, a border-guard post and the airport in the City of Nalchik, the capital of the Republic of Kabardino-Balkaria.

About 3.00 in the morning militiamen had found and surrounded a dozen gunmen in a forestland on the outskirts of Nalchik. The gunmen had offered stiff resistance, and three of them had been killed. However, the gunmen surrounded in the forest, among them several chieftains, had managed to inform their fellow-terrorists of their plight, and the latter, in order to divert the militia forces, undertook the attack on the city.

After the battle in the forest, the City of Nalchik was cordoned off by federal troops. The neighboring Stavropol Territory, and the republics of North Ossetia and Karachayevo-Cherkessia reinforced border patrols on the boundaries of Kabardino-Balkaria.

By mid-day information began to come about the gunmen having attacked the buildings of the republican FSS office and militia stations. Several mobile groups of vakhabites had attacked simultaneously the buildings of the republican Interior Ministry, the FSS, the Anti-Terrorist Center, three municipal militia stations and a border-guard post. The personnel of the republican Military Registration and Conscription Center had to take an all-round defense. Secondary School No. 5, which is situated next to the 2nd Militia Station, was evacuated.

The worst fighting was in the vicinity of the FSS building and the 3rd Militia Station. A part of the attackers, having fired on the FSS building, began retreating in the direction of Pushkin Street, and several gunmen got lodged in the "Souvenirs" Shop opposite the building.

Near the 1st Militia Station on Kirov Street, the gunmen managed to seize the "Arsenal" hunting shop, where a large quantity of weapons were stored. They drove a tractor next to the shop and used it to bend the window bars, but at that moment the militiamen arrived. The gunmen opened fire on them, and also on the passing cars with peaceful citizens.

News agencies have repeatedly broadcast information about the gunmen having allegedly seized one of the municipal schools, which was later disproved. The cellular communication in Nalchik was reported to have been disrupted, as the gunmen had blown up the "Megaphone" mobile operator sub-station.

In the morning the gunmen attempted an attack on a company tactical group of the 135th motorized infantry regiment based near the airport, but the attack was repelled. Inside the airport were at the moment passengers of only one charter flight, but the militia was able to provide their protection, and nobody got hurt.

The next day, Friday, the remaining gunmen were reported to have seized the "Souvenir" Shop and the 3rd Militia Station. In the 3rd Militia Station, the gunmen managed to force their way to the ground floor of the building and take several militiamen hostage.

By 10.00 a.m. information was received that assault on the "Souvenirs" Shop in the downtown had begun. There were two gunmen in the shop, one of them a sniper.

Vladimir Kolesnikov, Deputy General Prosecutor of the RF, gave to understand that the gunmen were holding some people hostage in the shop: "There are women there. We have to act very carefully, act with surgical care", he said. Some data indicated that the hostages were two women and a man, the husband of one of them. Actually, the hostages were three, all of them saleswomen.

In the course of the special operation, an armored vehicle broke a hole in the wall of the "Souvenirs" Shop and thus made the way for the special force troopers. As a result of the assault, both gunmen were killed, and the hostages freed.

As became known, the bandits who seized the 3rd Militia Station, left the station building in the morning and drove away in a "Gazel" minibus, but the gunman who was at the wheel lost control of the vehicle and it crashed into a tree. After that all the gunmen who were in the car were liquidated.

According to some data, several hostages had also been in the minibus with the gunmen. The authorities deny that information. Deputy General Prosecutor V. Kolesnikov summed up the results of the operation. According to him, all the 8 gunmen who had seized the 3rd Militia Station were killed, and all the 5 hostages freed.

The law-enforcement authorities have lately been receiving, in ever growing volumes, operative information of the gunmen of the local "jamaat" headed by Anzor Astemirov wanted for the attack on the Drug Control Office planning a large-scale attack on the republican military and law-enforcement institutions and other acts of terror. The latest testimony of it was the discovery of a cache of over 500 kg of explosives found in Nalchik last Sunday.

According to the latest data, all-in-all 68 gunmen were killed during the special operation in Nalchik.

News agencies differ in their reporting of the strength of gunmen. Some data indicate that Nalchik was attacked by from 150 to 300 armed bandits.

Up to 24 inhabitants of the capital of Kabardino-Balkaria fell victim to the gunmen's attack, and about 50 were wounded.

V. Kolesnikov said that the attack had been organized by "rabid vakhabites" headed by Anzor Astemirov, a native of Nalchik and "emir of the Kabardino-Balkarian jamaat", and Iless Gorchkhanov, a native of Chechnya, both of them wanted in connection with the attack on the Drug Control Office.
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