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UN Calls To Help Russia Hunt Hostage Takers

Security Council Urges States To Help Russian Authorities Hunt Hostage-Takers

Reacting to the unfolding hostage crisis in the Russian Federation, the United Nations Security Council convened an urgent meeting this evening to demand the unconditional release of the detained -- who include numerous children -- and to urge all governments to help bring to justice those involved in this and other recent terror attacks in the country.

Council President Juan Antonio Yáñez-Barnuevo of Spain read a statement at the formal session condemning "in the strongest terms the heinous terrorist act" which took place at a secondary school in the town of Beslan.

The statement also referred to other deadly terrorist attacks against innocent civilians in Moscow and on two Russian airliners.

Demanding the "immediate and unconditional" release of all hostages, the Council urged countries -- in accordance with their obligations under the landmark counter-terrorism resolution adopted in the wake of the September 11th, 2001 attacks on the United States -- to "to cooperate actively with the Russian authorities in their efforts to find and bring to justice the perpetrators, organizers and sponsors of these terrorist acts."

The Council President 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, regardless of their motivation, whenever and by whomsoever committed."

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