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Two masked gunmen have taken hostage about 40 people

Two masked gunmen have taken hostage about 40 people travelling on a bus near Stavropol, southern Russia.

Two masked gunmen have taken hostage about 40 people travelling on a bus near Stavropol, southern Russia.
A spokesman for the Emergencies Situations ministry said one of the two drivers on the bus had been injured and thrown out of the vehicle.
A police spokesman in the regional capital of Stavropol, said the unidentified gunmen who seized the bus at about 7 a.m. (0300 GMT), demanded a free passage to the airport in Mineralnye Vody.
The bus was on its way from Nevinnomyssk to Stavropol when it was seized, the Associated Press reported.
A local police spokesman said police blocked the bus halfway to Mineralnye Vody.
RIA news agency said the gunmen -- whose full demands were not revealed -- were armed with automatic rifles.
CNN's Moscow Bureau Chief Jill Dougherty said the nationalities of the hostage-takers were unknown and that those on the bus all appeared to be civilians.
She said officials from the Emergencies Situations Ministry and the Federal Security Service (FSB) were at the scene.
The Stavropol region borders Russia's volatile North Caucasus, where Russia is fighting separatists in Chechnya.
Dougherty said it appeared there was a link between the kidnapping and the Chechen conflict but that it had not been confirmed.
Blaming Chechen separatists for a series of kidnappings in the south in the early 1990s, Russia used the incidents as a pretext for moving troops into the rebel province in late 1994.


cnn.com