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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

U.S. Steps Up Search

WASHINGTON () -- The United States is stepping up the search for Frederick Cuny, the American disaster relief expert who disappeared in Chechnya, the State Department said.

Spokesman Nicholas Burns said Ambassador Thomas Pickering was sending a four-man diplomatic team to the North Caucasus to hunt for Cuny. Pickering decided to act after two diplomats returned empty-handed to Moscow from Chechnya and Ingushetia.

Burns said U.S. President Bill Clinton had raised the matter in a telephone call Thursday to President Boris Yeltsin.

Cuny's brother also announced Friday that he and his missing brother's son would join the search.

Chris Cuny said in Moscow he believed his brother and four Russians, last heard from April 9, were still alive.