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Russian forces end rebel siege in Caucasus

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Russian forces end rebel siege in Caucasus

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Security forces in southern Russia have stormed an apartment block where suspected Islamic militants have been holed up since Saturday.

A number of the alleged rebels were killed. Troops used heavy weaponry and, it is reported, poison gas after those inside the buiding refused to surrender. Five men were detained however before the assault began. It all happened just 120 kilometres from Chechnya where rebels have fought Russian rule for a decade. Islamic militancy has increasingly spread from there to nearby regions including Kabardino-Balkariya. The firefight happened in its capital, Nalchik. The Kremlin is attempting to boost the local economy to deprive rebel groups of their impoverished recruits but many young people in the region remain alienated by official corruption.