All terrorist resistance in the southern Russian city of Nalchik has been put down, a day after militants launched a series of attacks in which at least 85 people died, the head of the regional government said Friday, according to the news agency Interfax.
Gennady Gubin was quoted as saying that all hostages had been freed. Officials said at least 85 people, including 61 attackers, had been killed in the fighting.
Chechen terrorists claimed involvement in the near-simultaneous attacks on police and security facilities that terrified the city of 235,000 and left corpses lying on the streets.
"All points of terrorist resistance have been suppressed and hostages freed. Now the security forces are conducting a sweep of the city to find terrorists who are hiding," Interfax quoted Gubin, the prime minister of the Kabardino-Balkariya republic, as saying.
Kabardino-Balkariya is near Chechnya, where terrorists have been fighting Russian forces for most of the past decade, and the assault on Nalchik raised fears that a new front was opening in the troubled Russian Caucasus. Dagestan, another Caucasus republic, has suffered a sharp rise in violence this year, with bomb attacks and clashes between police and fighters of uncertain affiliation reported almost daily, the AP reports.
An explosion of household gas occurred in a nine-storeyed apartment building in the city of Shakhty, the Rostov region of Russia. The blast destroyed two storeys of the building