700 Held Hostage

  1. I haven't heard about this on the news, but right now there are over 700 people being held hostage in a Moscow, Russia theatre.
    They took over the theatre Tuesday, and are making demands on the Soviet leadership. The group of terrorists is to number between 20-50, all heavily armed, with suicidal explosives ready to detonate. They are all of Chechnya origin and believed to be Al Qaida trained and equipped. Yesterday a 20 yo woman was shot to death attempting to flee. There are at least 4 Americans in the theatre among representatives of other nationalities.
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  2. 17 Comments

  3. by   Stargazer
    Story here and here.

    Also here.

    Apparently they released 100 or so of the hostages, leaving 600. About 75 of those are foreign (i.e. not Russian). Reading the various reports, though, it's hard to keep count--all the numbers given are different.

    I'm rather irked that all the news reports are referring to the captors as "rebels." They were rebels before. Now they're terrorists. Yeah, Chechens have a legitimate beef with the Russians. But this is definitely not going to solve it. And trust Al-Jazeera (AKA Terrorist TV) to air the hostage-takers' little pre-taped promo, to give them just as much airtime as possible.
  4. by   rncountry
    They are demanding that the Russians pull out of Chechia. Why or why do these people beleive it is acceptable to kill innocent, non combat people? I just do not understand the reasoning. Presonally I can think of no better way to make tighter allies among the targeted nations, and to have the weight of those nations come down on the terrorists. At least eventually. I worry about what the future brings for my children.
  5. by   sjoe
    rncountry--I'd ask the same questions of terrorists everywhere. You'd think it would be obvious to them (presently in Indonesia, for example) that they just push governments into what they call "satan's" [read: the US's] hands by their behavior.
  6. by   Stargazer
    Well, the Russians have ended it. They stormed the theater after the terrorists started executing hostages. Most of the terrorists were killed. So were at least 2 more hostages.
  7. by   semstr
    Well unfortunately, up to 70 hostages were killed. But nobody can say for sure up till now, cause it is still such a chaos.
    and the news just reported an offensive of Russian troops in Czechnya........................ where and when will it end??
  8. by   semstr
    So, what "anesthesiagas" kills over 150 people? Please tell me!
  9. by   Stargazer
    This situation was grotesquely mishandled. I am rapidly losing whatever respect I had for Putin.

    http://europe.cnn.com/2002/WORLD/eur...gas/index.html

    Alexei Arbatov, head of the Russian parliament's defence committee, told CNN: "I blame the authorities for not providing the doctors with antidotes and instructions on how to use them.

    "That was certainly a great blunder, and many people are paying for that blunder with their health -- and some even with their life," he said.

    Because Russian authorities refused to tell doctors what was used, doctors spent the first few hours testing various antidotes before they found something that worked. The situation has angered doctors and the public.

    About 400 people remained hospitalised on Monday.
    Speculations on the possible type or types of gas used and why the Russians aren't talking, here:

    http://europe.cnn.com/2002/WORLD/eur...gas/index.html
  10. by   Glad2behere
    Gosh, I disagree in some respects.

    118-119 dead out of a fairly sure 700-750. I am not so sure I would judge the Russians on this one. All it took was one terrorist to realize what was happening and detonate the charges
    and all 700 would have been history. A lot better track record than Janet Reno had in Waco Texas. True, the secrecy of the anesthesia agent may have been a little heathenistic, but not quite as much as driving a tank through the window.
  11. by   Stargazer
    G2BH, I don't necessarily have a problem with the Russians using the gas. What I have a HUGE problem with is the fact that they purposefully withheld, and continue to withhold, an antidote or any information which medical personnel could have used to treat these victims. At least 115 people died, and over 400 are still critically ill as a direct result of this witholding of information by the "rescuers". And it is believed that they are keeping silent merely to cover their own asses, essentially. From the same article:
    However, the Russian refusal to reveal the type of gas used gave rise to speculation that it may have been banned under international regulations.

    John Eldridge, Editor of Jane's Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Defence, told the UK Press Association: "It might be the traditional Russian reluctance to comment on anything that they fear might jeopardise their security, going back to the Soviet era.

    "Or they may also be reluctant because the use of this gas is prohibited by the Chemical Weapons Convention, which prohibits the use of nerve gas."
  12. by   semstr
    They are lying their a..es off!
    One Austrian woman survived, at least that's what Russian authorities told the Austrian Embassy in Moskau.
    Well, to make a long story, about 3 days!!, short, this woman is dead too, and the Russians will not give the body free.
    Wondering why? Woman leaves behind a husband and 2 little girls.
  13. by   Glad2behere
    Oh Stargazer,

    Lighten up a tad! I realize all the death and misery as a result of the agent's secrecy. I gave you that. And it is very tragic I agree.
    I just congratulate the Russians for taking such a politically risky plan of action that netted many lives saved, knowing what the political fallout would be. Don't forget that they did evacuate an entire hospital of close proximity to help aid the hostages. Also, they managed to keep any explosives from collapsing the building.
    Didn't our government burn a building down with its own citizens within? All I am doing is noting the parallels in the two situations and the action of two different governments in response. I think my point is that the tragedy of Waco Texas would have been much easier to prevent the loss of life by our own government than the Russians had in Moscow, and percentage-wise the Russians did a much better job.
  14. by   Stargazer
    Okay, let's recap. We're talking about the entirely preventable deaths of 118 (by last count) people, and you're telling me to "lighten up"?

    Then you go on to admit that these deaths were preventable and directly attributable to the gov't agents, but in the next breath praise them for saving the building?

    Whatever. I may not have had my coffee yet this morning, but I don't think I'M the only one who's confused here.

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