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Last Updated: Monday, 3 January, 2005, 11:14 GMT
Scarred Beslan offers tsunami aid
A woman in the ruined school in Beslan
Some victims of the Beslan siege are still unidentified
The authorities in the Russian town of Beslan - scene of a bloody school siege in September - have pledged aid for those hit by the Asian tsunami.

The town council said it would allocate 1m roubles ($36,000) from the fund set up after the mass hostage-taking.

"The whole world reacted to our tragedy, so we cannot remain indifferent either," the council said.

At least 330 people died after Chechen rebels took more than 1,000 adults and children hostage in Beslan.

The Russian government estimates the losses inflicted by the Beslan drama at 22m roubles.

The Russian authorities have confirmed two deaths of Russian nationals as a result of the tsunami so far. A mother and her eight-year-old son died in Phuket, Thailand, when the giant waves struck on 26 December.

Russian rescuers in Kalamulla, south-west Sri Lanka
Russian rescuers clearing rubble in Kalamulla, Sri Lanka

The Russian Foreign Ministry said on Monday that eight more people were probably dead.

Some 40 other Russian tourists are still missing.

The day after the tragedy the Russian Emergencies Ministry sent about 25 tons of humanitarian cargo and a team of rescuers with a helicopter to Sri Lanka.

Five Russian tourists in Colombo have become volunteers with an informal NGO, now officially registered as Impakt, helping to deliver humanitarian aid to the worst-hit areas around Galle.

They raised $7,000 in one day by sending e-mails to their friends and media organisations in Russia, urging people to send money to a private bank account.

On Sunday, Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova played a match against Venus Williams in the northern Thai city of Chiang Mai to raise money for the tsunami relief effort. Sharapova won 6-4, 6-2.


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