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RIA Novosti

MAKHACHKALA, March 14 (RIA Novosti) - A mobile unit of Russia's Interior Ministry has started storming a private house where a paramilitary gang has found refuge after federal soldiers blocked it in a special operation. The building is in the center of Khasavyurt, Daghestani town close to the Chechen administrative border, an officer of Daghestan's Interior Ministry board said to Novosti.

There are three paramilitaries in the house, on preliminary estimations. They are shooting back with small arms at the besiegers, a town police board office said to Novosti in a telephone report.

"The paramilitaries were blocked in 26 Pobeda Street at about one this afternoon. They refused to surrender, and opened armed resistance. There are no police and civilian casualties for now," said the board officer on duty.

According to service information, leading the gang is one Jarah, Arab mercenary and right-hand man of Abu Havs, an Al Qaida functionary.

All law enforcement bodies are represented in the current operation, added our informant.

A special operation to seize the Jarah gang was made in the village Batashyurt, Khasavyurt District, yesterday. The gang offered armed resistance. Two bandits died in a skirmish, reports the North Caucasian anti-terror HQ.

Jarah's men were involved in several police officer murders in Chechnya and Daghestan, and terror acts against the local population.

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