Rescuers to offer food and medicine to members of Russian doomsday cult

Rescuers will try to take medicine and food to more than two dozen members of a doomsday cult holed up an underground forest hide-out in central Russia awaiting what they say is the end of the world, a regional official said Saturday. The cult members have threatened to blow themselves up with about 400 liters, or 100 gallons, of stockpiled gasoline if authorities force them out of what officials described as a cave or bunker near the village of Nikolskoye, about 640 kilometers (400 miles) southeast of Moscow. Yevgeny Guseynov, a spokesman for the regional government, said officials were searching for experienced negotiators to try to coax the group out their hiding place. On Sunday, rescuers plan to offer them medicine and food in an attempt to establish contact, he said, and more church clergymen were expected on the scene.