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Russian Federation: ICRC staff evacuate eight children from Moscow theatre

25-10-2002 News Release 02/61

Geneva (ICRC) - Delegates of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) today evacuated eight children from the Moscow theatre where several hundred people are being held hostage.

The delegates entered the theatre twice, the second time accompanied by a doctor.

The ICRC continues to focus its efforts exclusively on the humanitarian aspects of the crisis and remains particularly concerned about the welfare of the most vulnerable hostages, such as the sick and the elderly, children and women. On Thursday, the organization delivered a first consignment of basic drugs for the hostages and assisted in the evacuation of five persons from the theatre.

Contrary to some media reports, the ICRC has not been involved in any negotiations between the hostage-takers and the Russian authorities. However, if requested to do so by both sides, it could act as a neutral intermediary with a view to addressing the immediate humanitarian needs of the hostages.