Putin orders to blockade embattled Nalchik and destroy all terrorists

About 20 civilians have been reportedly killed in the attack, 40 other people have been hospitalized with injuries

Nalchik terrorist attackPresident Vladimir Putin has ordered to blockade the embattled Nalchik not to let any of the terrorists escape from the city, the Deputy Interior Affairs Minister of Russia, Alexander Chekalin, told reporters after a meeting with the Russian president.

According to Chekalin, the president ordered to destroy all armed terrorists, who show resistance to the federal forces.

President of the Kabardino-Balkaria republic, Arsen Kanokov, said that several terrorists had been captured alive. All of the arrested gunmen belong to the so-called Jamaat terrorist group, the president added.

Russian forces killed at least 50 of the gunmen who attacked several federal buildings in the North Caucasus city of Nalchik today in simultaneous raids, Interfax reported, citing the local administration.

The federal forces of the republic have taken the situation in the city under their control, official spokesman for the Communications Ministry of the Kabardino-Balkaria republic, Nikolay Lyapin said.

Local TV channels report nothing about what is happening in the city. The terrorists have reportedly seized the telecommunication center in Nalchik, although the information has not been confirmed yet, RBC reported with reference to law-enforcement authorities.

The city of Nalchik, the capital of the Kabardino-Balkaria republic in Russia's Northern Caucasus has made news headlines all over the world today. A group of unidentified armed men seized school in the center of Nalchik. The school is situated close to the building of the Interior Affairs Ministry. The city administration rejected the information, though, RBC reports with reference to a source in the law-enforcement authorities of Kabardino-Balkaria.

Nalchik attackAbout 20 civilians have been reportedly killed in the attack, 40 other people have been hospitalized with injuries.

300 armed terrorists attack the city of Nalchik in Russia's south: Photo gallery

Teachers of School No.5 in the center of the embattled city say that all children have been evacuated from the building; many of them have fled the site of the shootout themselves. There is no precise information about any hostages yet. A girl ran out of the school and said that a group of terrorists had seized the building.

The building of the city's police department is situated close to school No.5. The police building also houses the Russian anti-terrorist center in the Northern Caucasus. The two buildings are on fire.

For the time being it is only known that armed terrorists have launched a series of simultaneous attacks against a number of administrative departments and civil institutions in the city of Nalchik: the Interior Affairs Ministry of the republic, the Federal Security Bureau, the airport, a hunting shop and a penitentiary institution.

The sounds of automatic firing can be heard everywhere around the town. “The terrorists are trying to seize cars and escape from the city. Federal forces have Nalchikclashed with certain armed bands. Steps are being taken to eliminate the bandits," Nikolai Shepel, deputy state prosecutor for the region was quoted by Interfax as saying.

The city transport has been brought to a standstill; there are problems with communication too.

The federal forces have encircled the city, a source from the Interior Affairs Ministry told Interfax.

Terrorists have attacked three police departments in the city. Eyewitnesses say that they can hear the sound of gunfire and grenade explosions.

The terrorists have reportedly attacked the city in an attempt to free a group of Wakhabbi gunmen, whom the Russian federal forces had arrested before.

There is no precise information regarding the number of the attackers, although the Russian NTV network reports that there are up to 300 terrorists in the group.

Seven extremists from the group have already been killed, Itar Tass says. Five guns, a small amount of ammunition and about 20 grenades have been withdrawn from the gunmen.

”There are certain losses among the civilians, but it is too early to specify the exact number of the killed people, a high-ranking official from the republic's EMERCOM department says. “The battle is currently taking place on almost the entire territory of Nalchik,” the source said. Nalchik attack

Spokespeople for the presidential administration of the republic have not released an official statement in connection with the situation in the city of Nalchik. “No one can say anything specific about what is going on in the city – there is no communication,” a source from the republic's administration said.

Kabardino-Balkaria is a Muslim region in the Caucasus that borders the North Ossetia province where Chechen militants attacked a school in the town of Beslan in September 2004, resulting in the deaths of 331 people, half of them children.

Photos by Vesti.ru

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Author`s name Olga Savka