Two men have confessed to killing five people after a dispute over a stolen mobile telephone at a drunken party in the Russian republic of Bashkortostan escalated into murder and rape.

Sergei Bukayev, 25, and Konstantin Surkov, 22, admitted killing five guests, aged between 16 and 22, at the party in a flat in the town of Kumertau in the Ural mountains on 17 April.

Bukayev told prosecutors that he became involved in a dispute with a host at the party, Leonid Peresnuko, 22, over a mobile phone, grabbed him, and fatally stabbed him in the neck.

He said that he then grabbed the man's girlfriend, Irina Starikov, 21, who he lived with, and stabbed her to death too.

The pair then decided to kill the remaining witnesses, murdering a 16-year-old girl, a 17-year-old boy, and raping a 17-year-old girl before killing her, and torching the one-bedroom flat.

Firefighters arrived at the flat on Friday (17 April), and found the bodies inside. Some had their throats cut, reports Komsomolskaya Pravda.

A picture was circulated on social media of the partygoers only hours before the slaughter took place, which had been taken by an out-of-town friend on Skype.

Russian media has speculated the group's fascination with the occult may have played a role in the attacks. Surkov allegedly used the pseudonym Lucifer's Blood on social networks.

In photographs of the crime scene, occult insignia can be seen carved into the limbs of the victims, reports NTV.

Surkov and Bukayev were arrested after being spotted on the side of a road by a truck driver, who recognised them from pictures shown in local media. They had mobile telephones and tablet computers they stole from the victims and intended to sell, it was claimed.

Under Russian law, the two face a minimum of 20 years in prison.