Moscow sends rescue workers to Grozny

On Saturday morning, the Russian Ministry of Emergencies (MChS) is sending a plane loaded with a mobile hospital from the Medical Center for Catastrophes "Zashchita", additional medical personnel, medicines and equipment to help Chechen authorities deal with the consequences of a terrorist act in Grozny.

According to Ministry of Emergencies representative Gennady Korotkin, this plane could be later used to evacuate gravely wounded.

The latest MChS data shows the number of casualties in the wake of a terrorist act in Grozny as 46 dead and 76 hospitalized. Sources in the Chechen administration reported to RIA Novosti by phone that secretary of the Chechen Security Council, head of administrative services in the Chechen government Rudnik Dudayev and Vice-Premier of the Chechen Republic Tina Batyzheva are among hospitalized.

Korotkin also said that the second echelon of rescuers has been formed from the Ministry of Emergency units around the republic. They are ready to substitute the ones that are presently working at the site.

The Russian Interior Ministry is sending a group of ministry officials from Moscow to investigate the circumstances around the terrorist act in Grozny. Interior Minister Boris Gryzlov has announced this decision during an emergency meeting of the ministry's high-ranking officials.

The experts will also take additional measures in order to prevent future terrorist acts. They will inspect the work of the Interior Ministry units aimed at protecting the security of strategically important facilities in Chechnya and help Chechen Interior Ministry officials to organize their work.

On Friday, December 27, at about 14:30 Moscow time, two trucks loaded with explosives drove through the fence surrounding the Chechen Government building and exploded in its vicinity.

Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed condolences to relatives of the victims of the terrorist act in Grozny. According to the Kremlin press-service, the Russian president sent a telegram to the head of Chechen administration Akhmad Kadyrov, saying:

"I'm deeply shaken by the tragedy in Grozny that claimed dozens of innocent lives. All Russia is mourning for the victims. Those who prepared and committed this cruel terrorist act are conducting a war against their own people." "However, none of the dastardly terrorist crimes could break the will of the Chechen people to live peaceful lives," the Russian president underlined.

Vladimir Putin asked the head of Chechen administration to pass "his most sincere condolences and the words of support for relatives and close friends of all those who suffered as a result of the terrorist act."

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