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Sect held children for years in underground bunker: Russian police

Published on Aug 10, 2012 6:45 AM

MOSCOW (AFP) - Russian police have freed more than a dozen children held for years in underground isolation by a Muslim sect in Kazan, in the eastern republic of Tartarstan, the interior ministry said.

Some 60 members of a religious group, followers of a local spiritual leader, had lived for more than a decade in a bunker below a mosque in the city, the police said.

At least 15 children who were part of the group had been forced to live in squalid conditions with no access to the outside world.

The bunker was discovered in police searches of Islamic organisations in the city following twin attacks last month on moderate clerics by suspected Islamists.

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