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9/11/04 - U.S. AIDS RUSSIAN VICTIMS - 2004-09-13

The U.S. has sent humanitarian aid to Beslan, Russia, in the wake of the horrific terrorist attack on a school that killed more than three-hundred people, about half of them children.

U.S. C-130 aircraft dropped off thousands of kilograms of medical and humanitarian supplies for those injured in the attack. The supplies included sheets, blankets, medicine, burn kits, bandages and dressings, as well as specialized medical equipment. Russian aid workers were thankful for the support. U.S. Air Force Staff Sargent Clayton Bronnee said Russians “felt very bad for [Americans] when 9/11 happened, and they appreciate [U.S.] help and support now that this tragedy has befallen them.”

Additional assistance is coming from international aid agencies. The United Nation’s Children’s Fund has sent medical supplies to hospitals to treat hundreds of children injured in the Beslan school terrorist siege. The Red Cross has sent surgical teams to help the injured. And the World Health Organization is coordinating the distribution of medical supplies and overseeing blood donations to make sure they are safe.

In the meantime, the Russian Federal Security Service has offered a ten-million dollar reward for information leading authorities to two Chechen rebel leaders allegedly involved in the Belsan school siege. One of the men being sought is Shamil Basayev. He has been Russia’s most-wanted man since leading a hostage-taking attack on a hospital near Chechnya in 1995. More than one-hundred people were killed.

The United States supports Russia’s fight against terrorism, says U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell:

“. . .we are now absolutely united. . .in condemning this horrible, horrible action that took place in this small town.”

Mr. Powell said the U.S. will continue to assist Russia in any way that it can.