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Seven gunmen 'neutralised' in Makhachkala

Seven gunmen have been 'neutralised' in the Russian North Caucasian Dagestan's capital Makhachkala, the National Anti-terrorism Committee's information centre told TASS on Saturday.

"A total of seven neutralised gunmen have been found during a detailed inspection of the scene of an armed clash in a five-storey residential block of flats," the committee said.

Earlier in the day, the National Anti-terrorism Committee said information had been received that a member of the so-called Makhachkala gang, reportedly involved in an armed attack on a policeman on March 19, could be hiding in a block of flats in Leninsky district on the outskirts of the city.

The area around the building was cordoned off by the police, local residents were evacuated, and the anti-terrorist operation regimen was declared at 7:50 Moscow time on Saturday.

According to reports, gunman's wife and a child were with him in the flat. In order to save their lives, negotiations were organized with the man to convince him to surrender.

As a result, the child was let out of the flat, but the woman opted to stay inside, the sources said.

After fire was opened from the flat, an active phase of the operation began, in which two gunmen were killed.

Later on, another group of four gunmen was detected when security officers were checking the flats one-by-one. The gunmen were 'neutralised' in a shootout.

"It has been established that they were part of the 'Makhachkala gang' and were involved in a number of bold terrorism-related crimes, including attempts on the life of law enforcement officers and extortion of big sums of money from entrepreneurs," the committee said.

According to available data, money obtained in a criminal way was used to finance terrorist activity in the North Caucasus.

[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 21Mar15]

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