Sunday, 18 September 2011

Remembering the Siege of Beslan

The siege  ... 

On September 1, 2004, Chechen militants seized school number one in North Ossetia, a small republic in Russia's mainly Muslim North Caucasus region. The first day of September - the Day of Knowledge - is the traditional start of the new academic year in Russia.
The militants arrived in a truck as parents, teachers and children gathered to celebrate the occasion. They quickly herded everyone into the gym, and held more than 1,000 people hostage for three days as they demanded the withdrawal of Russian troops from the nearby republic of Chechnya.
The attack was organized by notorious Chechen militant Shamil Basayev, who died in an explosion in 2006. He was not among the separatists who seized the school.
The hostages were held in the school gym without food or water beneath bombs strung to basketball hoops. A number of male hostages were executed after the school's perimeters had been secured.
The siege came to an end after an explosion rocked the school and Russian special forces moved in. All but one of the terrorists were killed.

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