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UPDATED: 10:21, September 13, 2004
Chinese emergency aid for victims of hostage crisis arrives in Russia
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Photo:Russian worker carries the medical equipment and medicine offered by China from a plane at Beslan Airport in Beslan in northern Russia Sept. 12, 2004.
Russian worker carries the medical equipment and medicine offered by China from a plane at Beslan Airport in Beslan in northern Russia Sept. 12, 2004.
A chartered plane carrying emergency aid provided by China to Russia's North Ossetia republic, where a mass hostage-taking killed more than 330 people earlier this month, arrived in Beslan on Sunday.

China promised last week to offer 10 million yuan (1.2 million US dollars) worth of medical equipment and instruments to Russia as an emergency aid for the country's recent tragedy.

The 15-ton aid, including hospital beds, heart electric monitoring equipment and anesthetic machine, was passed over by Le Yucheng, a Chinese minister-counsellor to Russia, to North Ossetian officials.

The Chinese government and people strongly condemned the series of terror attacks in Russia recently, and extended condolences and sympathy to the victims and their families, Le said at the handover ceremony.

China's Red Cross Society also donated 100,000 US dollars to the Russian authorities and said China was ready to accept some of the wounded children for treatment and recovery.

The Chinese aid, which was badly needed and helpful for Russia, reflected the comradely friendship between the two neighbors, said North Ossetian officials receiving the aid.

A group of gunmen took about 1,200 people hostage in a school on Sept. 1 in the North Ossetian town of Beslan. The crisis ended on the third day after a fierce exchange of gunfire between Russian troops and the militants, leaving at least 335 dead -- half of them children.

Chinese leaders expressed their condemnation of the terrorist act following the hostage-taking, and vowed to work with the Russian government to fight terrorism, separatism and extremism in order to maintain peace in the region and the world as a whole.

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