09/02/2004, 00.00
un - russia
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UN asks for a "unconditional release of all hostages in North Ossetia"

New York (AsiaNews) -  The UN Security Council - at a meeting on Wednesday - condemned "in the strongest terms" the hostage taking of more than 100 pupils at a secondary school in Beslan, Russian Federation.

The 15-member council demanded "the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages of the terrorist attack", at a session requested by Moscow.

Masked men and women, wearing bomb belts, burst into the school at around 0930 local time and between 300 and 400 people were inside the schoool, 132 are children.

The hostage takers want Russian troops to leave Chechnya and the release of Chechen rebels held in Ingushetia.

The Council President, Juan Antonio Yáñez-Barnuevo of Spain, also reaffirmed that "terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security and that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable.

Secretary-General Kofi Annan called for the immediate release of the children, their parents and teachers, and condemned in the "strongest terms this criminal act directed against the most vulnerable members of society". (LF)
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