Security forces 'kill' IS hostage takers in Russian detention centre

Security forces 'kill' IS hostage takers in Russian detention centre

Security forces stormed a detention centre in southern Russia on Sunday, killing inmates accused of links to Islamist terror cells who had taken two staff members hostage, state-funded news channel RT reported.

Journalists on the scene reported the sounds of gunfire, while multiple ambulances were seen arriving at the prison in footage on social media.

The hostages at the pretrial detention centre in Rostov-on-Don were uninjured, Russia’s Federal Penitentiary Service said in an official statement.

It said that the hostage takers had been “liquidated,” but did not comment further.

A number of local news outlets, including RT, reported that at least some of the prisoners had been killed.

Earlier, state news agency Tass, citing unnamed sources in law enforcement, had said that six hostage takers were in the central courtyard of the Rostov region’s Detention Center No. 1, armed with a penknife, a rubber baton and a fire axe. The prisoners include men accused of links to the Islamic State group, it said.

Images posted on social media appeared to show at least two of the hostage-takers wearing a headband that resembled the Islamic State’s flag. Other images showed prisoners wielding knives.

In one video filmed in Rostov-on-Don and posted by the Moscow Times gunfire can also be heard.

The hostage taking will raise questions as to why security wasn't tight enough at the detention centre - particularly as the prisoners, as members of Islamic State, would have been considered a security risk.

RT reported that three of the hostage-takers had already been sentenced on terrorism charges, including disseminating extremist information and plotting to blow up a Russian courthouse.

IS have carried out a number of attacks on Russian soil in recent years. An affiliate of IS claimed responsibility for the most recent attack in March, when gunmen opened fire on a crowd at a concert hall in suburban Moscow, killing 145 people.