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Security forces storm detention center in Rostov-on-Don, free hostages, Russia says

by Martin Fornusek June 17, 2024 8:45 AM 2 min read
A Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) officer in assault gear in an undated photo. Photo for illustrative purposes. (Grigorenko/Getty Images)
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Russian security forces stormed on June 16 a detention center in Rostov-on-Don, killing at least some of the prisoners who took two prison staff members hostage, state-owned news agency TASS reported.

Six prisoners, some of whom were accused of links to the Islamic State terrorist group, took the two employees hostage on the morning of June 16. The attackers were armed with a pocket knife, a rubber baton, and a fire axe but failed to take possession of a firearm, Russian law enforcement agencies told the local media.

It is believed that the hostage-taking had been prepared for several months. Even though the prisoners were kept in different cells, they managed to communicate with each other.

Russia's Federal Penitentiary Service reported later on June 16 that the hostages were freed during a rescue operation that resulted in at least some of the prisoners killed. None of the hostages were injured, the authorities claimed.

TASS claimed that three of the prisoners were residents of the Ingushetia Republic: Shamil Akiev, Tamerlan Gireev, and Azamat Tsitskiev.

The three men were sentenced to up to 18.5 years in prison last December under terrorism charges, namely for allegedly preparing to blow up the Supreme Court building in Karachay-Cherkessia.

The Islamic State was also likely behind a Crocus City Hall concert hall shooting near Moscow that resulted in 145 people killed and over 550 injured.

Russian authorities, for the first time, acknowledged in May that the Islamic State was behind the deadly attack, even while continuing to make accusations of Kyiv's involvement without providing any evidence.

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