ISIS members “liquidated” in prison hostage-taking

ISIS members “liquidated” in prison hostage-taking
ISIS members “liquidated” in prison hostage-taking

Several members of the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group were “liquidated” on Sunday, according to authorities, after taking two prison officers hostage in a prison in southern Russia.

This hostage taking occurred three months after the attack claimed by ISIS against the Crocus City Hall, a concert hall near Moscow, where armed men killed at least 144 people, the worst attack in nearly 20 years.

“During a special operation (…) the criminals were liquidated and the employees who were taken hostage were released and were not injured,” the prison services said in a statement.

The prison administration had indicated a few hours earlier that defendants were holding two guards in detention center No. 1 in the Rostov region, at the gates of the Russian Caucasus.

According to a source within the police interviewed by the state agency TASS, members of ISIS who were to appear in court on charges of “terrorism” were among the hostage-takers. They were holed up in the courtyard of the detention center, armed with a pocketknife, a baton and an axe, according to the same source.

The attackers, who numbered six according to the Interfax agency, demanded that they be provided with a car and allowed to leave the detention center in exchange for the release of the hostages. “Negotiations on the release of the hostages are underway,” prison authorities indicated. But they apparently ended in an assault.

Russia has been targeted on multiple occasions by attacks and attacks claimed by the jihadist organization, although the influence of IS remains limited in the country. On March 22, gunmen opened fire in a concert hall near Moscow, killing at least 144 people and injuring hundreds. It was the deadliest attack on Russian soil since 2004.

More than 20 people have since been arrested, including the four suspected attackers, all from Tajikistan, a former Soviet republic in Central Asia neighboring Afghanistan. The attack was quickly claimed by the Islamic State organization.

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