Russia's North-Caucasian region: Kabardino-Balkaria Republic memorizes victims

The Kabardino-Balkaria Republic in Russia's North-Caucasian region has a mourning day on Saturday in memory of the 12 civilians and 24 policemen who died at a series of attacks launched by religious extremists on the southern city of Nalchik on Thursday.

Thursday's clashes with extremists also left 100 people wounded, including 51 policemen. Eight out of the wounded people are in serious conditions.This is supplementary money and it will be paid in addition to the compensations envisioned by federal law in such cases, the presidential press secretary was quoted as saying.

About 150 religious extremists attacked three police departments, the building of the regional Interior Ministry, the department of the Federal Security Service (FSB), the center for fighting terrorism and the airport in Nalchik, the regional capital of Kabardino-Balkaria, on Thursday. The attacks sparked fierce fighting with hundreds of federal troops, police and the security service officers throughout the city of Nalchik on the day.

A handful of recalcitrant extremists then separately holed up in a police station and a shop, taking people hostage until Friday morning. Russian troops stormed the police station and the shop and freed all seven hostages, killing altogether 11 extremists on Friday.

During the operation which lasted two days in Nalchik and whichwas called "the second Beslan incident", Russian troops killed 73 extremists, but sources close to investigation said the figure was not conclusive and it might go up.

According to Russia's Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev, 31 extremists had been detained. To liquidate the extremists, a group of 2,200 Russian servicemen was brought in. Law enforcement agencies from the southern Volgograd region, Rostov region, Krasnodar territory and Moscow City also provided manpower.

The extremists killed include the leader of an under group rebel cell in Kabardino-Balkaria, known as Iless Gorchkhanov, who was placed on the wanted list last December after taking part in an attack on the regional department for drugs control, Xinhua reports.

Most of the extremists were locals recruited by the so-called Yarmuk Jamaat, a self-styled religious extremist organization operating in North Caucasus.


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