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Russian Prosecutor: 59 Detained Over Nalchik Attacks


9 December 2005 -- The chief prosecutor in Russia's southern republic of Kabardino-Balkariya says authorities have arrested 59 people as part of an ongoing probe into a militant attack on the city of Nalchik.

Prosecutor Yurii Ketov told reporters that 43 of those in custody have been charged and that nearly 30 had confessed to their involvement in the attacks two months ago. Another 30 suspects are still wanted.

Officially, nearly 140 people, including at least 92 alleged militants, were killed during the 13 October raids on government buildings and the fighting that followed. Russian lawyers and the U.S.-based Human Rights Watch group have accused Russian security forces of using ill-treatment to force confessions out of some of those detained.

Prosecutor Ketov said today that authorities had found no evidence to back those accusations.

Autorities are still refusing to hand over to relatives the bodies of the alleged militants killed in the raids.

(ITAR-TASS)
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