12 people found murdered in house in south Russia: official

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Twelve people, including four children, have been found suffocated and stabbed to death in a suspected mass murder in a house in southern Russia, investigators said on Friday.

Investigators made the horrific discovery Friday in a two-storey house in the village of Kushchevskaya in the southern Krasnodar region, the investigative committee of prosecutors said in a statement.

"According to preliminary information, the death of a young child was caused by toxic gas and another was strangled. The deaths of the other 10 were caused by multiple stab wounds," it said.

Traces of fires had been found in the house, it added.

Initial reports had said that all 12 had been killed in a fire in the house but the new statement confirmed that fire was not the immediate cause of death.

The committee said it has opened a murder investigation, describing the crime as being of "particular brutality". Further details on the circumstances were not immediately available.

© 2010 AFP

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