Incidents » Terrorism
Author`s name Michael Simpson

Hostage-taking. Drama Continues - 24 October, 2002

Terrorists from the 29th Islamic regiment are villains who cannot be persuaded. They keep silent and wait for a signal. What signal is to follow?
Terrorists who took about 600-700 hostages (the exact number is being estimated) in the Moscow theatre, where popular musical Nord Ost is performed every day, Wednesday establish no contacts with people outside the theatre building and the special services.

Terrorists belonging to the group of Movsar Barayev, the terrorist leader who was declared killed in Chechnya about two weeks ago, tell their demands through released hostages and Duma deputy from Chechnya Aslanbek Aslakhanov. Barayev’s kamikaze say that they are laying land mines inside the theatre; they also say they are ready to stay in the building for a week. This is the term given the central authorities to fulfil the main demand of terrorists and withdraw the Russian troops from Chechnya. Otherwise, the terrorists say the building with the hostages inside will be blown up.

There has been information in the Russian press saying that if the terrorists release hostages, they will be allowed to leave free for any country that agrees to accept them. However, the information cannot be proved; and the terrorists are unlikely to resort to this measure. There is hardly a country in the world which will agree to accept the terrorists, as everyone has learnt the 9/11 lessons perfectly well.

It is very likely that the terrorists will follow the scenario of the terrorism act committed in Budennovsk in 1995 when terrorists took lots of hospital patients hostages. It means, they will demand for a free departure to Chechnya; the hostages can be used as a live shield in this case.

The terrorists allowed the hostages to use cell phones and call their families; the hostages inform that Barayev’s gang concentrated all hostages in the center of the auditorium. They are making a list of the hostages with a view to establish their nationality. As is known, citizens of Great Britain, Germany, Netherlands and a woman from Austria are also among the hostages. The terrorist leader Barayev said he would release all foreigners early October 24.

Meanwhile, people from the buildings standing close to the Moscow theatre are being evacuated. A bus column meant for evacuation of the hostages is currently standing near the Proletarskaya metro station.  Patients from a nearby hospital were also evacuated from the building last night. People living in the house #5 standing near the  theatre in Melnikov Street are being currently evacuated as well.

Dmitry Chirkin
PRAVDA.Ru