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Forces Storm Complex In Russian Republic

27 January 2005 -- Russian special forces fired grenades into an apartment complex in the capital of the southern Russian republic of Kabardino-Balkaria then stormed the building, reportedly killing five of the armed men who had been surrounded there since 25 January.

"Five or six" bodies were found after hundreds of Russian troops entered the building in the city of Nalchik, ITAR-TASS reported.

Troops were reported to be combing the building for any more fighters, or the two women who were with them during the three-day siege. Smoke from a fire that broke out on the fourth floor of the building was complicating the task of searching the building

The men were suspected Chechen separatists who were believed to be part of a group that raided Kabardino-Balkaria's antidrug agency in December and stole a large cache of weapons.

There was no word on their fate of the two women.

A statement on a Chechen militant website said the men were from the Yarmuk group of Islamic militants fighting in Chechnya.