Violence in Russia: Dozens Killed

Russian soldiers and security forces take their positions in the city of Nalchik after a small army of pro-Chechen militants stormed government buildings and police stations in coordinated, simultaneous attacks.

Children from a school near the police station were evacuated. As plumes of smoke hung in the air over the city. Witnesses report fighting in the streets, explosions, and buildings on fire.

Sporadic shots ring out across this Muslim region near Chechnya. Dozens were killed today, among them, civilans. Many of the injured were rushed to a nearby hospital. Some reports say fifty of the one-hundred-fifty gunmen were involved in the shoot out.

The rise in violence is linked to Islamic extremists and the decade long Chechen conflict. More recently a militant strategy has been adopted, after a brutal attack on one school in Beslan last year. The three-day seige ended in chaos with more than three-hundred dead, half of them children.

Hundreds were wounded. Earlier this year, the Russian President ordered troops to deal more severly with Islamic militants.  President Putin enforced a cordon around the town ordering security forces not to let one gunman escape.