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Russian Government Building Attacked

9 November 2004 -- Russia media reports up to 400 angry protesters today forced their way into the government headquarters of the southern republic of Karachaevo-Cherkessia and ransacked the office of regional President Mustafa Batdyev.

Local authorities say they immediately alerted Dmitrii Kozak, Russian President Vladimir Putin's special envoy to the North Caucasus Federal District, about the incident.

The motives for the assault remain unclear.

Yesterday, police discovered what they believed are the bodies of seven businessmen who have been missing for nearly a month. Police say they suspect Batdyev's son-in-law, Ali Kaitov, of being involved in the suspected murders.

The disappearances have sparked a major political crisis in Karachaevo-Cherkessia, with relatives demanding the resignation of the local government.