On 01/24/2005 Muslim Atayev and six members of his group named ‘Yarmuk Jamaat’ seized a five-storied apartment block on the outskirts of Nalchik the capital of the autonomy of Kabardino-Balkaria in the Caucasus. The terrorists took cover in two flats of the apartment block.

On 01/26/2005 at 08:30, a Russian commando stormed the building after a 24 hours negotiation with the militants, which resulted with nothing. All other residents of the building were evacuated and the building has been cut from electricity, water and gas supplies.  

Guerrillas responded with automatic fire and grenades. After two women appeared on the balcony of one of the apartments that the terrorists seized, the special operation was suspended for a while. The attack was renewed at about 15:00.

The police originally believed that the two women in the seized apartments were hostages. Internal Affairs Minister, Khachim Shogenov, stated later that they were not hostages but terrorists’ wives or friends. One of them has been reportedly identified as Janna Katsieva – the wife of Muslim Atayev the leader of the radical Islamic group Yarmuk Jamaat. The other woman was identified as Janna Katsieva’s sister and a sharp shooter in the Jamaat Yarmuk. Muslim Atayev’s three-year-old child was reportedly staying in one of the two apartments that the terrorists seized. (Military commentators said that the two women on the balcony were an excuse to stop a failing attempt to seize the building). 

During negotiations with the authorities – the terrorists asked for a “corridor”. They wanted to leave the building together with the above-mentioned women.

Five members of Jamaat Yarmuk movement were put on wanted list in the summer of 2004, when they showed armed resistance in a clash with the Kabardino-Balkarian police. Muslim Atayev, also known as Sayfullah, used to be an accomplice of notorious Chechen warlord Ruslan Gelayev. In Kabardino-Balkaria, Muslim Atayev established a terrorist group, which counted about 30 followers of Wahhabism – the Yarmuk Jamaat.

Muslim Atayev was succeeded by Anzor Astemirov.  


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