Two hostages, who spent more than a year in captivity, have been released in the course of a large-scale operation in the Nadterechny district of Chechnya on the border with Ingushetia. However, during this armed clash with the militants three servicemen were killed and one wounded. RIA Novosti was told about it by the head of the district administration, Sultan Akhmetkhanov.
According to him, one of the released is an inhabitant of the city of Novorossiisk, Valery Pytalev, who was kidnapped in Chechnya in September 2001. He worked as a builder in the republic.
The other hostage is an inhabitant of the Chechen town of Shali, Vakha Amirkhanov, a big local businessman. He was kidnapped in June-July 2001. Nothing was known about his whereabouts until now.
Akhmetkhanov pointed out that the special operation was carried out by servicemen of the military commandant's office of the Nadterechnyi district. In the course of the operation the criminals rendered an armed resistance.
The criminals have managed to disappear. According to Akhmetkhanov, who referred to the data of the law enforcement bodies, they have gone in the direction of Ingushetia. The names of the kidnappers are known, all of them are on a wanted list.
In the house where the hostages were kept the servicemen found a great amount of weapons, ammunition and handcuffs.
The search for the criminals has started.
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