Police round up 'Russian Rambo' gang

Saturday 12 June 2010 00:00 BST

Two gunmen have died during a five-hour siege with Russian police.

Police quoted by Russian media say two suspects surrendered during the operation in the centre of Ussuriysk, a town in Russia's Far East, yesterday.

The suspects are believed to be members of a gang, known as the "Russian Rambos", which carried out several recent attacks on police.

They are accused of shooting dead a policeman in the Primorye Krai region on 27 May. They were also suspected of injuring three police officers in two other attacks and torching a police station.

The gang were cornered in a three-storey building, where residents had been evacuated. The two who died – aged 21 and 23 – may have committed suicide, police say.

At least one police officer was injured. Provincial investigative official Avrora Rimskaya says those captured could face life in prison.

The suspects' motives were murky, attacks on police are rare in Russia outside the turbulent Caucasus region. There has been speculation of anger over police corruption and abuse – a hot topic in Russia, where President Dmitry Medvedev is struggling to reform a force tainted by scandals. "These people commit crimes not for any ideological reason but simply to spread terror in society and to feel that they are controlling people's lives," a police spokeswoman said.

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