Moscow, 18 December 1996 (RFE/RL) - Russian President Boris Yeltsin said today he was "shocked" by the killing of six Red Cross workers in Chechnya yesterday.
Masked gunmen shot dead five women -- two Norwegian, one Spanish, one New Zealander, and one Canadian -- and a Dutchman as they were sleeping in their residence at Novy Atagi, 20 kilometers south of the Chechen capital Grozny.
Russian and Chechen authorities blamed the killings on enemies of the peace process.
Kremlin spokesman Sergei Yastrzhembsky, quoted by Itar-tass news agency today, said Yeltsin "expressed his shock" at the murder, describing it as "a barbaric act."
He has ordered a detailed investigation to be carried out.