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Russian forces kill ISIS-linked hostage takers at detention centre, rescue staff

Some of the hostage-takers were convicted of terrorism charges and were allegedly linked to ISIS, which took responsibility for the Moscow concert hall attack that killed 145 people in March. They wanted to negotiate their free passage out of the prison, but were eliminated by the Russian forces.

Edited By: Aveek Banerjee @AveekABanerjee Moscow Published on: June 16, 2024 16:26 IST
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Image Source : AP Representative Image

Moscow: Russian forces stormed a detention centre on Sunday in the southern city of Rostov-on-Don to rescue two prison guards who had been taken hostage by six inmates linked to the Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist group, according to reports. All the six ISIS-linked hostage takers were shot dead by the Russian security forces.

As per the state-run media, some of the men who took hostages at the facility were convicted of terrorism offences and were accused of being affiliated with the ISIS group, which claimed responsibility for a devastating attack on a Moscow concert hall in March that killed 145 people. The inmates, including one hostage taker who wore a headband with an ISIS flag, knocked out window bars and climbed down several floors by rope before taking the guards hostage with a knife and fire axe.

One of the inmates was seen brandishing a knife beside one of the bound guards in Rostov-on-Don. In negotiations with the authorities, they demanded free passage out of the prison. However, Russian special forces decided to storm the prison and killed the hostage takers in an intense gunfight. "The criminals were eliminated," Russia's Federal Penitentiary Service said in a statement.

"The employees who were being held hostage were released. They are uninjured," the prison service said as ambulances were seen entering the complex. According to Russian media, the hostage takers were from Russia's southern republic of Ingushetia and three of them had been detained in 2022 for planning an attack on a court in another Russian republic, Karachay-Cherkessia.

ISIS attacks in Russia

TASS news agency reported that the ix hostage takers were in the central courtyard of the Rostov region's Detention Centre No. 1, armed with a penknife, a rubber baton and a fire axe. Video published by the 112 Telegram channel showed the six dead men in pools of blood.

Islamic State, a Sunni Muslim militant group, was defeated in Iraq and Syria by a combination of US-led forces, Kurdish fighters, and Russian, Iranian, and Syrian soldiers. It splintered into different regional groups that have claimed a number of deadly attacks across the world. 

One of these factions, the Islamic State Khorasan (ISIS-K), named after an old term for the region that included parts of Iran, Turkmenistan and Afghanistan, claimed responsibility for the March attack on the Crocus City Hall outside Moscow in which 145 people died. 

Russia has arrested more than 20 people in connection with the attack, according to the head of the FSB security service. Three of the four suspects, all from Tajikistan,  charged with carrying out the concert hall attack have admitted guilt for the incident in a Russian court on Sunday. Moscow's Basmanny District Court formally charged Dalerdzhon Mirzoyev, 32; Saidakrami Rachabalizoda, 30; Mukhammadsobir Faizov, 19; and Shamsidin Fariduni, 25, with committing a group terrorist attack resulting in the death of others.

(with inputs from agencies)

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