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Inmates reportedly accused of terrorism take hostages in Russian prison

Two Russian law enforcement officers have been taken hostage by inmates at a detention center in the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don, with talks underway, local officials have said.

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In a statement on Sunday, Russia’s Federal Penitentiary Service said the two captured agents were working with the penitentiary inspectorate at a local prison. It claimed that the facility “is operating in a normal mode and the situation is under control,” and that agents are working at the scene to defuse the crisis.

The agency also said that talks to release the hostages are underway.

While officials did not provide further details about the hostage situation, several outlets reported that the perpetrators had been charged with terrorism.

The Baza Telegram channel reported that there were six perpetrators, three of whom were sentenced to lengthy prison terms after being found guilty of belonging to the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) terrorist organization and preparing a terrorist attack on the Supreme Court in the Karachaevo-Cherkessian Republic in southern Russia.

The perpetrators managed to overtake the prison’s duty station after breaking the bars of their cell, the outlet added.

The two hostages reportedly include the head of the operational department and a junior inspector of the duty service. The perpetrators reportedly demanded a vehicle to leave the prison.

A video shared on social media shows one of the assailants, armed with a knife and wearing a black do-rag with an inscription in Arabic, sitting next to one of the handcuffed hostages, who appears to be unharmed. According to another clip, the other agent also appears to be in good health, except for blood on his elbow.

The 112 Telegram channel reported that the inmates have been blocked inside one of the areas of the detention center, and have been unable to reach the gun room.

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