December 25

Kin demand that bodies be returned

first_imgNALCHIK, Russia – Hundreds of black-clad, mostly elderly people gathered Sunday outside the prosecutors’ office in the southern Russian city of Nalchik, demanding the release of the bodies of relatives killed during a raid by alleged Islamic extremists. Many feared they would never see their relatives’ bodies. According to Russian law, terrorists’ bodies are not returned to their families and some in the crowd alleged that their relatives had been unfairly identified as participants in the militant raid. “Give back the bodies of our children so that we can bury them,” said a petition the crowd passed to prosecutors. The demand came two days after militants attacked police and government buildings in Nalchik, sparking fighting that killed at least 139 people, including 94 alleged attackers, according to official tallies. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week A delegation of three elderly men presented the petition to prosecutors. Deputy regional prosecutor Asker Masayev asked the crowd to return home and wait until today because investigators were still working to separate the bodies of the attackers from other victims, said Mukhamed Zhekamukhov, one of the three elderly men and a relative of the slain driver. At Nalchik’s main morgue, another crowd of hundreds of agitated relatives waited for victims to be identified or to collect their bodies for burial. Police and security officers stood by. Nalchik is the capital of the Kabardino-Balkariya region, which has been long rattled by spillover violence from nearby Chechnya, as well as local criminal elements. Earlier this year, Nalchik police twice launched assaults on alleged Islamic militants holed up in apartments. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more