Russian security forces are negotiating the surrender of two militants holed up in a private home in Nalchik, in the southern Russian republic of Kabardino-Balkaria, a source in regional law enforcement said.
“During negotiations with the security forces, the militants refused to surrender, began firing their weapons and threw several grenades,” the source said. The firing and explosions sparked a blaze that firefighters are extinguishing.
Until recently Kabardino-Balkaria was considered one of the calmer republics in the mainly Muslim North Caucasus, where terrorist attacks and shootouts with police are a common occurence.
Russian federal troops fought two brutal wars against Islamist separatists in neighboring Chechnya in the 1990s and early 2000s.