Moscow, Jan. 18 (RFE/RL) - Russian security units used
force to free nearly 30 civilians being held hostage in western
Siberia yesterday, killing the hostage-taker and injuring one hostage.
Our correspondent in Moscow quotes Russian Interior Ministry
officials as saying that the Russian forces stormed a bus with
the hostage-taker and his captives at a local airport near the
western Siberian city of Surgut.
An armed, unemployed 23-year-old Russian, Maxime Belozerov, had
taken about 28 workers hostage at an oil rig near Surgut.
The Itar-Tass news agency says he demanded to be taken to Dagestan, where Russian troops are battling Chechen gunmen holding hostages.