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Report: Russian Forces Free Hostages in Nalchik Standoff

Russian security forces are reported to have freed several hostages and killed their eight captors who had been holed up in a police station in the southern town of Nalchik.

Justice officials quoted by Russia media said the militants were killed as they tried to flee the police station. Reports say another operation was underway Friday to dislodge a second group of militants holding captives in a Nalchik shop.

The militants launched a major attack Thursday on Nalchik's police stations and government buildings, sparking clashes with security forces that killed at least 85 people, including 61 militants. Chechen separatists claimed responsibility for the attacks in a message posted on a militant-linked website.

Nalchik is the capital of Russia's Kabardino-Balkaria republic, which borders Chechnya. Russian troops have been battling Chechen separatists for about 10 years.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.