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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Chechen Hijackers Get 15 Years

Three Chechens who hijacked a bus with 34 passengers in June were sentenced Thursday to 15 years each in prison by a local court in the southern Russian city of Stavropol, according to Itar-Tass.

The attack marked the third attempt this year by armed groups from Chechnya to get away with a ransom of millions of dollars after taking hostages near Mineralniye Vody, which has the closest airport to the troubled Caucasus area.

A fourth bid, in July, ended in bloodshed when local police stormed a hijacked helicopter that was about to take off. Four hostages and one of the gunmen were killed. Three other members of the gang are awaiting trial.

Earlier this month the ringleader of the group which carried out the second hijacking, in May, was sentenced to death by a court in nearby Pyatigorsk.