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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Ukraine Police Storm Prison Free Hostages

KIEV, Ukraine - Security service forces freed two prison guard hostages and killed three of their captors in a pre-dawn raid on a penal colony in southern Ukraine Friday, an official said.

The duty officer at the local branch of the SBU security service, a Ukrainian successor agency to the Soviet KGB, said agents stormed the camp where six prisoners had held two of their guards hostage since Tuesday.

Local police confirmed the hostages had been freed but declined to give details.

According to Ukrainian media reports, the prisoners had demanded to see representatives of the Chechen republic, the separatist region of Russia where rebels are battling government troops.

"The hostages were freed unharmed. Our men suffered no injuries," the SBU officer in the southern Khersonsky region said by telephone. The three prisoners who were not killed in the raid had been injured, he said.

The prisoners overpowered their guards Tuesday evening while returning to barracks from work camp. Media reports said they had been holed up in the colony's electricity substation.