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Militant Muslims kill four skiers

From The Telegraph and the Voice of Russia

At least four tourists from Moscow have been killed by militants in Russia's North Caucasus region on their way to a ski resort. The group were heading towards the Kabardino-Balkaria region of Russia.

"Two people in masks armed with automatic guns in a foreign-made car forced the minibus onto the hard shoulder, asked about passengers, then opened fire on the vehicle and fled from the scene," the Investigative Committee said in a statement. All six people in the vehicle were from the Moscow region. Three died on the spot and two were taken to hospital, it said.

Killed in the attack were Denis Belokon, born in 1976, Vyacheslav Kara, born in 1984, and Irina Patrushev, born in 1973 according to a law enforcement representative. The attack also wounded Valery Belokon and Sergey Efremov, who were taken to hospital.

A message on Islamist website, hosted by the militant group Caucasus Emirate, said the tourists were killed by "mujahideens" because they "came into the zone of war".

The group was going skiing to the Elbrus mountain area when they were ambushed near the village Zayukovo, according to the NTV channel, adding that a fourth person died in hospital.