October 19, 2010

GROZNY, Russia — Militants stormed parliament in Russia’s conflict-torn Chechnya Tuesday, seizing deputies and gunning down guards, before being killed in a bloody standoff with security forces.

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The group of up to four militants broke into the parliament building in the Chechen capital Grozny early in the morning, sparking fears of a major hostage crisis before security forces moved in to take the deputies to safety.

Officials said that all the militants were killed by the security forces, with reports adding that some had been shot dead while others had killed themselves by detonating suicide charges.

“We heard shots in the courtyard and we knew they were trying to take us hostage. We managed to take refuge on the third floor where we stayed until the end of the operation,” a spokesman for the Chechen parliament Zelim Yakhikhanov told AFP.

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