Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Kidnap Deadline Failed

MOSCOW -- Authorities in the breakaway republic of Chechnya conceded Friday that an ultimatum demanding that criminal groups release their hostages had failed, Itar-Tass reported.

Shadid Bargishev, head of the government agency in charge of fighting the kidnapping gangs, said the government would begin to use force against them, the news agency reported.

Bargishev said the campaign to force the release of hostages would begin Sunday.

Since the end of its 1994-94 war of secession against Russia, Chechnya has been plagued by lawlessness, including dozens of hostage-takings for ransom.