Four plotting hostage drama in Chechen Orthodox church killed

Chechen security forces on Saturday killed four militants who, “at the orders of a western country”, tried to hold devotees hostage at St. Michael the Archangel’s Church (pictured) in Grozny, Chechnya’s head Ramzan Kadyrov said, Russian media reported.

The militants entered the church hoping to capture churchgoers. The government launched a special operation and killed all the militants, Kadyrov said.

A policeman succumbed to injuries and one churchgoer was severely injured.

“According to the latest information, the militants received the order from a Western country,” TASS cited Kadyrov as saying.

Kadyrov said he could immediately arrive at the crime scene to lead the special operation and eliminate all the four militants in a few minutes.

Efforts are being made to identify the militants. The cordon around the accident site has been lifted.

St. Michael the Archangel’s Church is the only Orthodox church in Grozny. It was founded in the late 19th century at the city centre. It is a popular tourist site surrounded by shopping malls and cafes.