Terrorists hole up in apartment block in Southern Russia

Police surrounded an apartment building in southern Russia after exchanging gunfire with a small group of terrorists holed up inside, a police official said Thursday.

The gunfight began Wednesday evening between rebels and police in Dagestan's regional capital, Makhachkala, Dagestani Interior Ministry spokeswoman Angela Martirosova said.

The terrorists were firing with submachine guns from what was believed to be the 10th floor of the 11-story building, and police were returning fire, she said. Authorities estimated that about five terrorists were involved.

There were no reports of any injuries.

By Thursday morning, the gunfire had ended, and police were maintaining their stakeout around the building, the AP reports.

Dagestan has been frequently hit by attacks targeting police and government officials. The violence is blamed on gang and business disputes, as well fighting and violence spilling over from war-wracked Chechnya to the west.

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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov