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Russian cult members exit cave

May 17, 2008|From the Associated Press

MOSCOW — Doomsday cult members on Friday crawled out of the cave where they had holed up awaiting the end of the world after authorities removed two corpses.

The nine were the last of 35 men, women and children who had dug into a hillside near the Volga region town of Penza in November and threatened to blow themselves up if officials tried to remove them.

The last members quit their hide-out after officials found the bodies of two female cult members who had died in the cave, and warned survivors that they could be poisoned by fumes from the decomposing bodies.

Emergency officials said they found the corpses while trying to strengthen cave supports. The structure, with sleeping rooms, a makeshift kitchen and altars, suffered partial cave-ins this year.

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