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Wednesday, 30 October, 2002, 15:40 GMT
US hostage's last words to daughter
Hostage survivor Raisa Lebedev  leaves hospital
Hostage survivor Raisa Lebedev (r) leaves hospital
An American hostage killed when Russian security forces ended a siege at a Moscow theatre wrote a desperate message to his daughter as the crisis unfolded.

Sandy Booker, 49, wrote "I love you Deborah" on his arm, before dying, his family have told reporters.

He was one of two US nationals held in the siege.

Russian health officials on Wednesday said two more people have died in hospital, bringing the official number of hostages dead to 119.

More funerals have been taking place in Moscow for the dead Russian hostages.

'Loved us all'

Sandy Booker was in the audience at the Palace of Culture Theatre together with his Kazakh fiancée, Svetlana Gubareva, and her 13-year-old daughter, the AFP news agency reports.

Doctor examines teenage hostage
More than 200 survivors are still receiving treatment

Ms Gubareva's daughter was one of those killed in the crisis.

Ms Gubareva told Mr Booker's family that Sandy, a resident of Oklahoma City, was anxious they knew he was thinking of them.

"He had enough sense about himself to think of his daughter, think of mom, myself and his sister and his friends and co-workers back here," Mr Booker's brother, Rick, said.

"He expressed [to Svetlana] that he loved us all," AFP quotes Rick Booker as saying.

Casualty confusion

Two more Russian nationals held hostage by the Chechen rebels died overnight, Lyubov Zhomova, a spokeswoman for the Moscow health authorities told reporters on Wednesday.

According to her figures, 117 hostages have now died from the gas used to end the siege, while two more died from gunshot wounds.

However, reports persist that the number of dead is much higher with some Russians saying their relatives were in the theatre but their names have not appeared on the official death lists.



Siege reports

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30 Oct 02 | UK
11 Jun 01 | Americas
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