Hostages die

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The Independent Online
Moscow - Three women and a hijacker died in a bloody hostage drama yesterday as Russian police got tough to stamp out what is threatening to become a wave of kidnappings and extortion in the lawless fringes of north Caucasus. The four were killed when troops launched a dawn attack on a helicopter at the spa town of Mineralniye Vody, seizing four masked gunmen a day after they snatched 41 bus passengers. Reuter