CNN BREAKING NEWS
Soldiers: Police on Scene at Moscow Theater
Aired October 23, 2002 - 15:58 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: There are breaking developments this hour from Moscow. Hundreds of people inside a theater have been taken hostage by a group of armed men.
CNN's Ryan Chilcote is standing by outside the theater. He joinds us by phone.
Ryan, do you want to describe what's happening there?
RYAN CHILCOTE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Very dramatic scene, obviously. Hundreds -- I'm surrounded by hundreds of interior troops and police officials just outside the theater, about 100 meters or a football -- less than a football field away.
What we know about what's going inside of this theater complex. There was a musical under way, it's called the "Nortz Otz" (ph) musical here in Moscow, one of Moscow's's most popular musicals. People -- full house, people were watching this musical when a group of between 15 and 30 gunmen ran in, opened fire into the air and took the entire audience hostage.
Since then, they -- we understand that those hostage takers have left -- have let some children, apparently around 18 children go. They apparently, according to some very sketchy reports we're getting now, have also let some non -- as we're being told, non-Russians go, foreigners that are not Russians inside of that -- inside of that theater.
Now, they are making demands and we're hearing from the police one of their -- the first demands was an end to the war in Chechnya. Obviously, Russia has been engaged in a very bloody, long war in Chechnya since 1999. And these hostage takers are demanding an end to that war.
They are also saying that they've placed explosives around the building, that in the event that this building is stormed, they will both use those explosives and kill 10 hostages for every hostage taker that is wounded. Very, very serious demands coming from inside this building. Back to you.
WOODRUFF: All right. Ryan Chilcote, there on the scene in Moscow. Very disturbing story. As you just heard, 20, 30 hostage takers inside a movie theater, some 700 people inside that theater right now. CNN continuing to follow that story and we'll bring you any developments as we learn them.
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