Vladimir Putin ordered the Russian power ministers to find and try terrorists who attacked a number of buildings in Ingushetia (a republic in the North Caucasus, Chechnya's neighbor).
"You should find and liquidate them or put them to trial," the Russian President told Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev, Federal Security Service (FSB) director Nikolai Patrushev, Prosecutor General Vladimir Ustinov, head of the General Staff Anatoly Kvashnin and head of the Main Intelligence Department Valentin Korabelnikov.
According to Vladimir Putin, all criminal actions were aimed against the law enforcement bodies.
The bandits had no mercy for policemen who came in their way, Rashid Nurgaliyev said adding that Interior Ministry's units fulfilled their tasks in Ingushetia.
"Taking into account that it was nighttime and objects of the attack were localized, I believe that units fulfilled their tasks - militants failed to capture a single building," the Interior Minister noted.
According to him, 15 Ingush policemen were defending one of the buildings for six hours.
Militants tried to penetrate into the pre-trial detention center with 50 prisoners but failed to seize it as well, Rashid Nurgaliyev added.
"The interior affairs department of the Nazran district is the only building that suffered from the attack," he proceeded. This wooden building was set on fire by grenade-launchers and other means.
The militants attacked the headquarters of the Ingush Interior Ministry and other eight buildings, Rashid Nurgaliyev said.
In his words, the militants closed all ways leading to Nazran's center thus aggravating the situation.
The information on the attack on the Ingush Interior Ministry came at 22.30 Moscow time, the minister reported.
Forces of the Interior Ministry's central staff, Khankala and Vladikavkaz (the capital of North Ossetia) were put on the alert. "An operative staff of the InteriorMinistry and a regional staff in Vladikavkaz were deployed to assess the developments in Nazran," Rashid Nurgaliyev went on.
It was decided to hold additional reconnaissance and bring up extra forces to the attacked sites in order to help policemen fighting a non-equal battle, he added.
We started to comb the area at 7.20 a.m., he noted.
According to him, militants are trying to escape Ingushetia through the Assinovskoye Gorge to Bamut, Chechnya and Georgia.
Militants made no attempts to enter a battle against fresh forces of the Interior and Defense Ministries and tried to escape at once, President Vladimir Putin said.
Five officials of the prosecutor's office were killed in the terrorists' attack on Ingushetia, said Prosecutor General Vladimir Ustinov.
Criminal proceedings by article Terrorism were initiated, he added.
"My deputy arrived at the site of the accident. We have consolidated the regional forces. Investigation is underway, " Vladimir Ustinov reported.
On Monday night several bandit groups attacked the headquarters of the Ingush Interior Ministry and the 137th border detachment in Nazran, the township of Karabulak and stanitsa Sleptsovskaya. According to the latest information, 46 people were killed.