They say they have all but wiped out the remnants of a small army of rebels, linked to the Chechnya independence cause, who mounted coordinated attacks on police, state security and other strategic buildings in Nalchik.
30What was believed to be the last rebel resistance, a small group of fighters holed up in a prison administration building, has been wiped out by security forces. Official figures put the number of rebels killed at 72, with a further 31 detained, and add that 24 police officers and 12 civilians in the town have also been killed. Separatists from nearby Chechnya, who have been fighting against Moscow rule for a decade, said they staged the raid with support from local anti-Kremlin insurgents. Nalchik is the main city of the Muslim Kabardino-Balkaria region. This borders North Ossetia, where Chechen fighters attacked a school in Beslan last year. Now that calm is being restored in the aftermath of the fierce fighting, it ramains to be seen whether public criticism of yet another attack in the region will be silenced.