26 January 2005, 23:53

Police encircle dwelling house occupied by rebels

At about 9 p.m. on January 25, Kabardino-Balkarian police officers encircled a five-story communal house in the suburbs of the republican capital, Nalchik. Members of the extremist jamaat (society) Yarmuk are reported to be hiding in it. Police evacuated tenants of the house itself and nearby houses, reported a Caucasian Knot correspondent.

The police tried to persuade the rebels into giving themselves up voluntarily and allowing women (extremists' possible wives or lovers) and an infant, whose supposed father is Yarmuk leader Muslim Attayev, to go out of the house. But the rebels rejected these offers. The house is likely to be stormed. The exact number of the rebels is unknown so far. From 3 to 6 of them are mentioned in the reports.

Yarmuk members are main suspects in the attack on the building of the Kabardino-Balkarian Anti-Drug Department in December 2004, when four officers were killed and 250 guns were seized.

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