‘Daesh terrorist’ inmates take hostages in Russian prison

Two law enforcement officers have been freed after being taken hostage by a group of prisoners at a jail in the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don, local officials have stated.

The hostage situation began on Sunday when a group of prisoners, some with terrorism convictions, reportedly broke out of their cells and into the facility’s duty station, overwhelming two officers.

The Russian Federal Penitentiary Service issued a statement confirming that two of its agents working with the penitentiary inspectorate were being held by undisclosed perpetrators. It noted that talks were underway and that law enforcement agencies were working at the scene.

Several outlets have reported that terrorists were among the hostage-takers. The Baza Telegram channel has claimed that there were six perpetrators, three of whom are serving sentences for belonging to Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS or ISIL) and preparing an attack on the Supreme Court in the Karachaevo-Cherkessian Republic in southern Russia.

The two hostages reportedly included the head of the operational department and a junior inspector of the duty service. The perpetrators reportedly demanded a vehicle to leave the prison.

A video shared on social media shows one of the assailants, armed with a knife and wearing a black do-rag with an inscription in Arabic, sitting next to one of the handcuffed hostages, who appeared to be unharmed. The other agent also appeared to be in unhurt, except for blood on his elbow.

The 112 Telegram channel reported that the inmates were blocked inside one of the areas of the detention center, and were unable to reach the gun room. Later, it said law enforcement agencies launched an assault on the detention center, as the talks did not yield any results. At least several shots were fired in the area, according to videos shared on social media. Baza noted that it took the law enforcement agents three minutes to storm the building.

The Federal Penitentiary Service confirmed that there had been “a special operation to free hostages in a detention center” in Rostov Region, adding that “the criminals were eliminated” and the hostages were not injured.

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