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Nalchik Protesters Demand Bodies Of Relatives

16 October 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Several dozen people today gathered outside the prosecutors' office in the southern Russian town of Nalchik, demanding release of the bodies of their relatives who were killed during a raid by alleged Islamic extremists.

The demand came two days after militants attacked police and government buildings in Nalchik, the capital of the southern Kabardino-Balkaria Republic, sparking fighting that according to officials, left at least 128 people including 94 attackers dead.

It is not clear if the demonstration was staged by relatives of civilians killed in the fighting or by relatives of militants or by both groups.

Under Russian law, the bodies of terrorists are not returned to their families for burial.

Kabardino-Balkaria has been long rattled by spillover violence from nearby Chechnya, as well as local criminal elements. Earlier this year, police in Nalchik twice launched assaults on alleged Islamic militants holed up in apartments.

(RFE/RL's Russian Service/AP)

See also:

Kabardino-Balkaria: Was The Raid A Tactical Defeat Or A Change In Tactics?

Kabardino-Balkaria: A Deteriorating Situation