Russian television has broadcast the first images of Chechen hostage-takers from inside a theatre in southeastern Moscow.

Reporters of the three leading Russian news agencies were allowed into the theatre early Friday - the third day of the stand-off.

Russia's NTV television carried the first footage of the Chechen hostage-takers, including a woman wearing explosives around her waist.

The woman wore a black headscarf bearing an inscription in Arabic. She held a gun in one hand and a grenade in the other.

Another man shown in the broadcast is rigged with explosives, while two masked men standing nearby are holding rifles.

The footage, shot in the theatre's kitchen, is the first visual confirmation that the hostage-takers are indeed armed with explosives. They earlier threatened to blow up the building, if their demands are not met.