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Ingushetia militants seize hostages at slot machine arcade

Russia
(updated 18:25 28.10.2014)
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Militants in Russia's North Caucasus republic of Ingushetia have abducted around 15 civilians and police officers from a slot machine arcade, a police spokesman said on Friday.
MAGAS (Ingushetia), October 24 (RIA Novosti) - Militants in Russia's North Caucasus republic of Ingushetia have abducted around 15 civilians and police officers from a slot machine arcade, a police spokesman said on Friday.

The incident occurred at 10:00 p.m. (18:00 GMT) on Thursday, when a group of armed men dressed in camouflage gear and wearing masks rushed into the building in Ingushetia's Sunzhensky District.

"They took around 15 people with them, including one Ingush police officer, three Chechen police officers, and civilians," the spokesman said, adding that the militants had arrived in several cars and that they had also stolen a vehicle belonging to one of the hostages.

The spokesman also said that the assailants had spoken in a mixture of Chechen and Russian and had headed in the direction of the Ingushetia-Chechnya border.

A rescue operation is underway.

Ingushetia has seen a rise in violence in recent months. The Russia-based human rights group, the Moscow Helsinki Group, said in late September that the republic was on the verge of civil war as fighting between militants and authorities intensified. It also accused federal authorities of torture and abductions.