Thursday, October 13, 2005

"Chechen Rebels" Wage Jihad In Russia
More Than Sixty Dead

Yep, that's right, Islamic Jihadis kill people and AP calls them "rebels" in the headline:

NALCHIK, Russia - Scores of Islamic militants launched simultaneous attacks on police and government buildings in this city in Russia's turbulent Caucasus region Thursday, sparking battles that killed at least 49 people.

Chechen rebels claimed responsibility for the attacks, which forced the evacuation of schools and left corpses littering the streets of Nalchik, the capital of the republic of Kabardino-Balkariya.

The Chechen rebels' decade-long struggle against Russia, originally a separatist movement, has melded increasingly with Islamic extremism in the past decade and spread far beyond Chechnya's borders to encompass the whole turbulent Russian Caucasus region.

President Vladimir Putin ordered a total blockade of Nalchik, a city of 235,000, to prevent militants from slipping out, and he said armed resisters would be shot, according to Russian Deputy Interior Minister Alexander Chekalin.

Estimates of the number of militants involved ranged from 60 to 300. The attacks began with heavy arms fire and explosions, and sporadic shooting continued for four hours afterward.
Officials gave conflicting casualty figures, ranging from 49 to as many as 63.

Fyodor Shcherbakov, a spokesman for presidential envoy Dmitry Kozak, said 49 were killed — 25 rebels were killed, 12 police officers and 12 civilians. He said the number was constantly rising as bodies were being discovered.

Hours earlier, officials said 63 people had been killed. Chekalin said that figure included 50 militants and at least 10 police officers. Local Health Ministry spokesman Stepan Kuskov said at least three civilians were among the dead, and 84 people were wounded. The ITAR-Tass news agency quoted Dr. Asker Zhigunov as saying 15 civilians' bodies had been brought in to a city hospital.

Dmitry Kozak, Putin's envoy to the southern region, said Thursday's attackers were holding hostages at a police station, but he did not specify whether they were civilians or officers. A spokeswoman for the republic's Interior Ministry, Marina Kyasova, said police on the upper floors of the building were battling attackers on the ground floor, and denied that hostages had been taken.

Deputy Russian Prosecutor General Vladimir Kolesnikov told the Interfax news agency that 12 militants had been detained. His estimate for the number of militants involved was 80 to 100, the news agency reported.

CNN calls them "Militants" and doesn't even put the story on their front page.