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Two Budennovsk terrorists convicted

A court in Southern Russia has convicted two people of terrorism dating back to the 1995 assault on the town of Budennovsk, in which 129 people were killed.

Abubakar Mezhiyev and Igor Sokolov have been charged with terrorism and received 11 and 13 years in jail, respectively. While Mezhiyev pleaded guilty, Oleg Sokolov did not agree with the verdict and plans to appeal it.

On June 14, 1995 a group, consisting of 190 gunmen led by Chechen separatist warlord Shamil Basayev, took more than 1,500 people hostage in several buildings and a hospital in Budennovsk in Southern Russia. The terrorists demanded Russian forces withdraw from Chechnya.

Overall, 129 people, including 18 policemen and 17 servicemen, were killed in the attack and 415 were wounded. Also, 16 militants were killed during the raid.

More than 20 terrorists have been convicted in connection with the Budennovsk outrage so far, with many still being sought. Further, the criminal case following the attack remains active and the investigation is ongoing.

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