Eight-year-old Taisa Abakarova lay in the trauma ward of a hospital in Nazran, Ingushetia, just across the border from Chechnya, where rebels have been engaged in brutal warfare against Russia. All of Taisa's immediate family died on February 4, along with 363 other civilians, when the Russian army bombed their caravan as they tried to evacuate Katyr Yurt, Chechnya.Russian military started bombing the city earlier that morning. In the afternoon the military paused, brought in buses, and told the people to leave immediately. Despite the promise of a two-hour safe corridor to evacuate, the military launched a bombing attack on the caravan.Taisa's upper body and face were burned beyond recognition and both her legs were badly broken. The Salvation Army, one of the few Christian ministries working in the region, is providing her medical care and rehabilitation."Even her parents couldn't have cared about her like Salvation Army people did," says Taisa's aunt. The Salvation Army formally set up work in December to Chechen internally displaced persons (IDPS) settled in Nazran.The town took in most of the more than 200,000 Chechens who fled when war broke out in their country. Nearly all of the refugees (99 percent) profess Islam.Kharon Deniev, field coordinator for the Dutch Refugee Council (DRC), says he knows of no other Christian group working visibly among the Chechen IDPS in Nazran. DRC systematically registered all 186,000 refugees living in Nazran and helped coordinate the work of agencies that came later.Other Christian agencies such as Mercy Corps, Peter Deyneka's Russian Ministries, World Concern, and World Vision are sending relief aid to the region.Only days after the bombings stopped, the Russian army escorted a Salvation ...1
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