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Three Killed, Four Wounded In Shooting At Moscow Court

02 August 2017

Clashes broke out in the Moscow Regional Court on Tuesday, leaving three defendants dead and five others wounded, officials said.

Five defendants in handcuffs were being escorted in a lift at the court when one of them pounced on and attempted to throttle a guard. The two others suspects and three security officers were injured.

Tatiana Petrova, a spokeswoman for the Russian Interior Ministry's Moscow department, told TASS news agency that among those wounded were a Russian National Guard officer and two policemen.

They were on trial for being part of a "Grand Theft Auto" gang where motorists where forced out of their cars and killed. Three policemen and two of the defendants were injured in an ensuing shootout. The body said one of the defendants tried to strangle one of the guards, and the defendants managed to escape and seized the guards' weapons.

Around 20 shots were fired in total, according to witnesses.

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After the shootout, everyone was evacuated from the court and all hearings were postponed, the lawyer said. "I saw a wounded woman bailiff, her face in blood", she said.

Prosecutors said gang members were placing spikes on roads, forcing motorists out of their vehicles and shooting them dead.

The G.T.A. gang - which largely consists of men from the former Soviet republics in Central Asia - was behind a series of murders in the Moscow area in 2014.

They had also attempted to take hostages.

Three Killed, Four Wounded In Shooting At Moscow Court