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3 Jul, 2009 09:53

Armed militants detained in North Caucasus

Two militants who were holed up in a flat in the Russian North Caucasus republic of Kabardino-Balkaria have surrendered to police.

A man and a woman were barricaded in an apartment in the region's capital, Nalchick, after police swooped in on a special operation.

“According to reports from the investigation, Ruslan Shekhaliyev and Anzhela Sunshova were detained. Two Kalashnikov assault rifles, seven magazines, several hand-grenades, a compass and manuals on making landmines were also seized,” a police source told Interfax.

The source also said that another man with a handgun had been detained a day earlier at the train station. From there, it was discovered that his accomplices had rented an apartment in Nalchik.

“Law enforcement officers blocked the apartment last night, after having evacuated residents from the apartment building, and began talks with the criminals. The militants surrendered after several hours of talks,” the source said.

The incident came amid an extensive operation against militants, which has been underway in the republic since the end of last month.

In the past two years, the authorities say there have been 32 attacks on law enforcement agencies, which have left nine police officers dead and many more wounded.