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Russian guards 'seize Greenpeace Arctic protest ship'

At least 15 armed Russian coast guards have taken over a protest ship in in the Arctic, Greenpeace said.

This picture, purporting to show an armed guard about to board the Greenpeace boat, was taken by a Greenpeace activist on September 18. Credit: Greenpeace

25 protesters, including six Britons, were arrested after guards used helicopters and robes to board the ship. The activists are still being held under armed guard, Greenpeace said.

The ship, the Arctic Sunrise, has been circling an oil platform run by energy giant Gazprom, which is setting ready to drill for oil in the Arctic. Greenpeace say they were inside international waters and outside the jurisdiction of Russian authorities, making the boarding of the ship unlawful.

The armed ship seizure comes a day after activists attempted to board the Gazprom rig. The Russian coast guard responded to the protest by firing live ammunition at protesters as they attempted to climb on to the platform, Greenpeace said.

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Russia floods death toll rises

At least 150 were killed from severe flooding in the Black Sea region of southern Russia that turned streets into rivers, swept away bridges and inundated thousands of homes as many residents were sleeping.

President Vladimir Putin flew to the region and ordered investigators to determine whether more could have been done to prevent the deaths.

The Interior Ministry said 150 bodies had been recovered, 139 of them in Krymsk and nine in Gelendzhik. The majority of the dead were elderly who were unable to escape the sudden deluge.

Putin orders flood death inquiry

Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered in inquiry into whether enough was done to prevent more than 150 people dying after intense flooding struck the Black Sea region of southern Russia.

Torrential rains dropped almost a foot of water on the Krasnodar area, forcing many to scramble on top of trees and roofs for safety, according to officials.

More than 150 people have died, and this number is set to rise further.

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More heavy rainfall in Russia likely

The State Hydrometeorology Agency said more rain was possible on Saturday and Sunday in southern Russia after 99 people were killed in floods and landslides overnight.

Alexander Tkachov, the governor of the Krasnodar region, urged people not to panic. He told Itar-Tass news agency: "No one can remember such floods in our history. There was nothing of the kind for the last 70 years. More than 5,000 households were hit."

Russia floods death toll rises

At least 99 people were killed in floods and landslides in southern Russia after two months' average rainfall fell in a few hours overnight, police and emergency officials said.

Some of the victims were electrocuted while others were swept into the sea. Many of the dead were elderly people who had been sleeping and drowned.

Others survived by climbing on to rooftops after the torrential rain hit thousands of homes, flooded railways and roads, and halted oil shipments from the port of Novorossiisk.

Most of the victims died in or around Krymsk, a town about 300 km (190 miles) northwest of Sochi.

Fatal floods in Russia

At least 78 people were killed and thousands of homes were flooded in torrential rain and landslides in the Krasnodar Region of southern Russia, police said on Saturday.

A police spokesman said 67 people had been killed in the town of Krymsk after an average two-months' rain fell in just a few hours in the popular holiday region on the Black Sea where Russia will host the 2014 Winter Olympics. TV footage showed flooded streets and people scrambling onto rooftops.

There are lots of overturned cars, even huge trucks. Brick fences are washed away.

– Local resident, Vladimir Anosov, said by telephone from the village of Novoukrainsky

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