Several wounded in Moscow Regional Court shootout

Three of the gang suspects were killed while four people were wounded during a shootout with Moscow Regional Court's guards.

Diana Tatosova, a lawyer for the defendants, said she had been told by the chief investigator in the case that four of the accused had been killed.

A criminal investigation has been launched into the attack, and the court has since resumed work, TASS said. According to the BBC news, the security guards who were injured include a National Guard member, who had a gunshot wound and two police officers who suffered injuries as well. The shootout left three of defendants dead and two of them injured.

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Speaking from Moscow, Al Jazeera's Rory Challands said that the three defendants were members of a gang that were involved in "one of the more lurid episodes of Moscow's recent past".

Authorities said the incident took place before a hearing for the gang of nine, who are accused of the murders of 17 auto drivers between 2012 and 2014.

The group of Central Asian nationals was suspected of killing 17 motorists in the Moscow area between 2012 and 2014. The gang suspects were able to free themselves and they took the guard's weapons from them.

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"I was attending a court hearing of an unrelated case", lawyer Sofia Rubasskaya told Rossia 24.

Prosecutors said gang members were placing spikes on roads, forcing motorists out of their vehicles and shooting them dead. "Then we heard shots - approximately 25 shots were fired".

A correspondent from Rossiya 24 state television reported that the defendants took the opportunity to attack when the lift got stuck between floors, adding that they severely beat up a female convoy guard for 15 minutes.

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