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Russian forces ‘eliminate’ ISIS-linked detainees after hostage situation at detention center, state media report

Two employees of a pre-trial detention center in the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don have been rescued after they were held hostage by six detainees in the facility for several hours on Sunday morning, according to Russian state media.

The Federal Penitentiary Service of Russia in the Rostov region said the detainees were “eliminated” and the employees who were held were released without any injury, state news agency RIA Novosti reported.

Earlier, Russian state news agency TASS reported that some of the detainees involved were being held in pre-trial detention for cases of terrorist crimes and have links to the Islamic State, Russian state news agency TASS reported.

Photos and videos circulating Russian media of the incident appeared to show at least two of the detainees wearing a black band around their heads with a pro-Islamic Jihad logo and another detainee holding an ISIS flag. In one video, one man wearing the pro-Islamic Jihad logo on his forehead says the group are Islamic State.

Some anti-government bloggers have since expressed concerns that Russian operatives may have orchestrated the incident. One blogger, Vladimir Osechkin from prisoner rights group, questioned how six “radically minded convicts were able to coordinate without the help of operatives” inside the facility.

The two employees, an operational officer and an inspector-supervisor, were taken Sunday morning by the group of detainees who demanded transport in exchange for the employees’ release, TASS reported citing law enforcement. The detainees were armed with a pocketknife, a rubber baton and a fire axe, Russian media reported citing law enforcement agencies.

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