Russians probe al-Qa'eda link as Moscow siege ends with 150 dead
Russian emergency services bring hostages out of the theatre after the special forces assault
Russian security forces were last night investigating links between Osama bin Laden's al-Qa'eda organisation and Chechen rebels after special forces dramatically ended the Moscow theatre siege, leaving scores of hostages dead.
Most of the 50 Chechen terrorists - including 18 women - were killed when the Russian forces moved in a dawn raid after filling the theatre with sleeping gas through the ventilation system.
The rescue mission was launched after the rebels started carrying out their threat to execute some of the 800 theatregoers held hostage for three nights.
Health officials said that at least 90 hostages were killed during the assault. Many are believed to have died as a result of the gassing after choking on vomit. Three terrorists were said to have survived and were taken for interrogation.