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Friday, September 03, 2004

Bloody end to Russia school siege

This is just horrible. The terrorrists tried to escape and murdered 100 people in their escape try. It is just abhorrid of what these people will do. They have no respect for human life and will kill men , women and children for their cause. It is only hutrting their cause. It is making more and more people see them for who they really are. tehy are a plague on society and needed to be eliminated. They are inhumane and disciminately kill anyone who gets in their way. It is absolutely wrong to take an innocent childs life and they will rot in hell.
Bloody end to Russia school siege
At least 100 bodies have reportedly been found in a school in southern Russia where Chechen separatists had been holding hundreds of hostages.

Heavy gunfire and loud explosions were heard throughout the morning as Russian troops stormed the school, in the town of Beslan in North Ossetia.

There is confusion as to why the Russian forces went in, as the operation seems to have been unplanned.

Hundreds of children were freed in the seizure, though some are badly injured.

Russian officials confirmed that some dead had been found inside the school, while a correspondent for the Interfax news agency put the number at more than 100.

More than 400 people were injured.

Several of the hostage takers are also reported to have died in exchanges of fire with troops as they tried to escape, Reuters reports.

Some are reported to have blown themselves up, but others appear to have got away, says the BBC's Jonathan Charles.

AT A GLANCE (TIMES IN GMT)
1407: 10 hostage-takers killed in shoot-outs - Interfax
1345: More than 100 bodies found in school gym - Interfax
1330: Security services say their assault on school was not planned
1322: More than 400 people injured, officials say
1125: Security forces attack house where some rebels thought to be hiding - reports
1115: All hostages reported out of school
0958: Special forces enter school
0930: School roof said to have collapsed
0905: Explosions and gunfire heard. Soldiers run to building
Itar-Tass news agency said a group were holed up in another building in the area.

Russian security officials said they had still been intending the negotiate with the hostage-takers.

"I want to point out that no military action was planned," said regional Federal Security Service chief Valery Andreyev. "We were planning further talks."

Security forces had opened fire to save the lives of hostages who were being fired on by gunmen, he said.

The BBC's Sarah Rainsford says a man who had been inside the building told her there had been an explosion and a wall had collapsed. This had been followed by gunfire and many more explosions.

It is unclear what caused the initial explosion.

White sheets

Correspondents say many of those released were desperate for water when they came out, and some were barely able to stand.

Relatives were running around screaming and crying
There were scenes of pandemonium, as children ran terrified and half-naked through the streets grabbing water bottles from medics.

One boy described his escape.

"I smashed the window to get out," he told Russian TV. "People were running in all directions... [The rebels] shot from the roof."

Ambulances ferried hundreds of people to hospital. Our correspondent says at least 150 children were among them.

Helicopters hovered overhead and there were troops everywhere.

Reuters said six bodies lay covered with white sheets near the school gates, and parents filed past lifting the sheets to see whether their children were underneath.

Officials put the number of hostages at 354 before Thursday's release, although the school has more than 1,000 pupils.

Hundreds of relatives of those being held inside the school who had been waiting anxiously outside the security cordon reacted in panic to the outbreak of fighting.

The attackers - both men and women, some wearing bomb belts - struck on Wednesday, the first day of the new school year in Russia.

1 - At 0850GMT a vehicle from the Emergencies Ministry is sent in to retrieve the bodies of those killed at the start of the siege 2 - A small number of the children being held hostage escape from the building. The attackers start firing at the children to try to block their escape. In response the Russian troops surrounding the school fire at the attackers 3 - A series of explosions rock the school gymnasium, bringing the roof of the building down You can read more about this at Blogs of War

Story from BBC NEWS: http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/europe/3624024.stm Published: 2004/09/03 14:21:19 GMT © BBC MMIV

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