The United Nations Security Council Thursday condemned the taking of hostages in Moscow by Chechen guerrillas, and urged all governments to cooperate with Russian authorities in bringing the perpetrators to justice.

In a unanimous vote, the Security Council reiterated its position that no act of terrorism is justified. Besides the hostage situation in Moscow, the Council also condemned recent terrorist acts elsewhere, such as the bombing in Bali and the explosion on a French tanker in the Gulf.

The Council acted swiftly on the Russian resolution. Diplomats say it shows the U.N. body's commitment to fighting international terrorism. That determination became more visible in the wake of the September 11th terrorist attack on the United States last year.

As for the Chechen issue itself and rebel demands that Russian troops leave their territory, it is something the Security Council has not been involved in or taken a position on. Russia is a key member of the Council with veto power and would not be likely to allow any criticism of its actions.