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Police Claim Nalchik Attackers Planned Wider Caucasus War

Officials say some 95 militants died as a result of the 13 October attacks (AFP) 14 November 2005 -- Police officials in the Russian republic of Kabardino-Balkariya say militants behind last month's attack in the city of Nalchik aimed to spark a wider war throughout the North Caucasus.

Albert Sizhazhev, an official with the organized crime unit of the local Interior Ministry, said the organizers of the 13 October attack planned to hold the city's government buildings under siege for two months before launching guerrilla campaigns elsewhere.

Sizhazhev also said many of the young male participants had taken narcotic painkillers before the attack. Russian authorities have made the same claim about the alleged perpetrators of past assaults.

Officials say the October attacks and subsequent fighting left some 130 people dead, including 95 militants.

Rights-watchers in Kabardino-Balkariya have expressed concern about what they say are increasing instances of illegal detentions and repression of young Muslims.