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Gunmen take 200+ student hostages

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Little, ugly details, as reported by Pravda from witnesses:

Quote[/b] ]Eyewitnesses of hostage crisis say terrorists mined the school building

09/02/2004 13:30

Terrorists tried to lure children with chocolates

Everything was fine and quiet in the morning of September 1st at school N1 in the North Ossetian town of Beslan in southern Russia. September 1st is celebrated in Russia nationwide as the Day of Knowledge - the start of a school year. There was a meeting in front of the school building - teachers were congratulating children, the latter were giggling and laughing.

A military GAZ-66 truck and a police car drove up to the building thirty minutes after the start of the meeting. Terrorists seized the police car and the officer in it on their way to the school, the Izvestia reports. About 15 armed people, with several women among them, jumped out of the truck.

Rosa Dudiyeva, a grandmother of a first-grade girl named Milana, told the Kommersant: "When the meeting was over, the daughter went to her class room with other children, and I stayed outside to talk to one of the teachers. A military truck appeared in front of the school building. People wearing camouflage and masks jumped out of the truck - I could see only their eyes and beards. They opened fire, everyone started running about. Some people, including myself, managed to hide behind a fence. We tried to peep out to see what was happening, but were scared to approach the building. Several gunmen stayed outside, near the entrance. They started screaming in very good Russian: "Russians, Russians, come here, don't be afraid!" One of the terrorists tried to lure children with a chocolate."

The terrorists, the Kommersant wrote, arrived in Beslan from the director of the settlement of Khurikau. They walked to the settlement from the woods, which borders on the Ingushetia republic. They took a local police officer Sultan Guradzhev hostage near Khurikau (the officer went to Ingushetia to repair his relative's car). After that the terrorists seized the GAZ-66 truck of one of the local residents. Guradzhev managed to escape from the terrorists. He said there were 18 terrorists in the group, including two female suicide bombers. In addition, they had two dogs. The terrorists, the newspaper wrote, had taken the animals along to use them as gas-analyzers. A dog will sense poisonous or sleeping gas a lot faster than a human being.

A ten-grade pupil Zaur Dzafarov managed to flee from the terrorists: "We were standing with our backs to the street and we did not see the truck. When we turned around, it was already there, people were jumping out of it, several men wearing masks were walking towards the school. There were two women among them, wearing black clothes. They were throwing some grenades, and then they started shooting and encircling us. I grabbed my little sister's hand and ran towards the trees. No one was shooting at us."

Another boy, who also managed to escape, says the militants opened fire on him, when he was running: "I disliked them instantly after I saw them. They were all wearing black masks. So I made up my mind to run away." The terrorists opened fire on the running boy, but he managed to scamper away.

"I saw them killing only one person," eyewitness Ruslan Boroyev says. They shot a guy in the head, he is still lying in the school yard. When they forced hostages inside the building, several terrorists started unloading some big boxes from the truck." The boxes were filled with grenades, self-made bombs, and anti-land mines. They drove the hostages into school gyms and mined the building. The terrorists placed most powerful bombs in school gyms, where the hostages are being kept.

"I have a sister in the building, Rosa," Zinaida Tedzoyeva says. "I have been trying to call her for several hours, but in vain. The children, who fled from the school, say the militants had taken everybody's cell phones away. Do you think the Russian special services will use sleeping gas as they did during the hostage crisis in Moscow?" the woman asked.

The current crisis in North Ossetia is reminiscent of the terrorist act, which took place in Moscow two years ago, at the end of October 2002, when terrorists seized the Moscow music theatre. A police officer told a reporter from The Guardian that his son was inside the building. "A child's life is priceless. I will do all I can to save their lives. But if the government in Moscow orders to storm the school, I will kill the one, who issues such an order," the officer said.

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Breaking news ,check at BBc world ,Lots of gunfire now around the school ,mutliple explosions ,some kids have been reported to be freed by russian soldiers from the school ,looks like Russians have given up on negotiations. crazy_o.gif

Expect a bloodbath. sad_o.gifmad_o.gif

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I just gets more sickening.

Quote[/b] ]Explosions and Shooting at Russian School Siege

By Richard Ayton

BESLAN, Russia (Reuters) - Explosions resounded and automatic fire broke out on Friday near the Russian school where hundreds of children and adults were being held by an armed group, a Reuters correspondent at the scene said.

Russian news agencies said a group of hostages had escaped, and the correspondent saw soldiers carrying children away from the school.

A few hours earlier, Russia had insisted it would not resort to force to free hundreds of children, parents and teachers being held for a third day without food or water by gunmen demanding independence for rebel Chechnya.

Officials said some 500 people were being held in the school in North Ossetia, near Chechnya, but released hostages said the number could be nearer 1,500, lying on top of each other in increasingly desperate conditions.

Alexander Dzasokhov, president of the province of North Ossetia, said the 40 or so masked gunmen were demanding an independent Chechnya, the first clear link between them and the decade-long separatist rebellion in the neighboring province.

But he tried to reassure hundreds of fraught parents who spent the night near the school in the town of Beslan, telling reporters: "I tell you frankly and honestly ... the option of force is not being considered."

Reports from some of the women and children released on Thursday painted a grim picture.

"You know, there aren't 350 people (the previous official number) in there, but 1,500 in all. People are lying one on top of another," Zalina Dzandarova, a 27-year-old woman, told the daily Kommersant.

One unnamed woman freed on Thursday told Izvestia that during the night children occasionally began to cry:

"Then the fighters would fire in the air to restore quiet. In the morning they told us they would not give us anything more to drink because the authorities were not ready to negotiate.

"When children went to the toilet, some tried to drink from the tap. The fighters stopped them straight away."

Dzasokhov said the captors had made their demands in talks on Thursday with Ruslan Aushev, a moderate former leader of nearby Ingushetia province, who has taken on a mediating role.

"The demands relayed to Aushev yesterday ... were that Chechnya must be an independent state," he said.

WAVE OF ATTACKS

The school siege is the latest in a wave of violent attacks in Russia in recent weeks, all linked to Chechen separatists.

Last week, suicide bombers were blamed for the near-simultaneous crash of two passenger planes in which 90 people died. And this week, in central Moscow another suicide bomber blew herself up, killing nine people.

Russian media have speculated that the gunmen could belong to separatist forces under field commander Magomed Yevloyev, an Ingush who is believed to have led a mass assault on Ingushetia in June.

With the clock ticking for President Vladimir Putin to end the crisis, security experts warned of a possible bloody end.

Putin, who came to power in 2000 vowing to "wipe out" Chechen militants, pledged to do all he could to save the hostages.

But he has refused any suggestion of a compromise on Chechnya remaining part of Russia. Previous ends to hostage crises have ended in huge loss of life.

Izvestia said 860 pupils attended School No.1 in Beslan. But the number of people on the campus would have been swollen by parents and relatives attending the first-day ceremony traditional in Russian schools.

Up to 16 people are believed to have been killed in the early stages of the assault.

Dzandarova said the masked gang struck at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, shooting into the air.

"Everybody, parents and children, ran in panic into the school building," she said, adding that the attackers killed people left in the school yard and those who resisted.

Two women assailants blew themselves up in a corridor, killing a number of male hostages. Hostages were later herded into the school gym, where the captors booby-trapped the basketball hoops, an unidentified mother told Izvestiya.

Dzandarova added: "They took some of the injured out of the gym and finished them off right there in the corridor."

The unnamed mother said the captors were well organized: "None of the terrorists removed their masks. Nobody can see their faces. They aren't tired. They are resting in turns."

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Here's why there was gunfire:

Quote[/b] ]Report: Group Breaks Out of Russia School

3 minutes ago

By MIKE ECKEL, Associated Press Writer

MOSCOW - A group of hostages broke out of a school in southern Russia where militants were holding hundreds of people captive Friday, a news agency reported, after two loud explosions were heard and Russian commandos opened fire in the direction of the building.

Heavily armed soldiers were seen racing toward the school, which is cordoned off and out of sight from an area where relatives have gathered to await word on the fate of their loved ones.

It was impossible to immediately verify the report of the breakout, carried by Russia's Interfax news agency. On Thursday, the militants inside the school had released some 26 of the hundreds of hostages held inside the building since Wednesday.

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Parts of the school building have collapsed just a few minutes ago now after some explosions ,Russian soldiers look to be storming the building ,it's all happening right now.

edit; Multiple wounded people being brought out ,lots of children heavily wounded.  sad_o.gif

@Avon: The gunfire was already on for 50 minutes when the rebels tried a breakout ,it started after some explosions at the school itself ,a firefight then started and later some Chechens tried to escape.

It looks like it's going to be a bloodbath ,reports of multiple dead body's now all over the school ,many wounded children are being brought away in ambulances.

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http://www.reuters.com/newsArt....6144467

Quote[/b] ]BESLAN, Russia (Reuters) - Hostages ran screaming amid explosions and automatic fire from a Russian school on Friday where hundreds of children and adults had been seized by an armed group demanding Chechen independence.

Russian news agencies said a group of hostages had escaped, and a Reuters correspondent saw soldiers carrying children away from the school, some of them covered in blood, as ambulances sped to the scene and military helicopters circled overhead.

The Interfax news agency said the school's roof had collapsed, according to authorities, and that 30 hostages had been rescued.

It was not clear what had triggered the battle, a few hours after Russia insisted it would not resort to force to free the children, parents and teachers being held for a third day without food or water.

Possibly all triggered by some of the hostages trying to escape? Either way, it doesn't look good. crazy_o.gifsad_o.gif

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I'm beginning to think that the worst has happened.

Quote[/b] ]Russian special forces storm hostage school, rebels attempt to flee

11 minutes ago

MOSCOW (AFP) - Russian special forces have stormed the school where hundreds are being held hostage, the Interfax agency reported, citing the local crisis cell.

Rebels were trying to leave the Russian school where hundreds are being held hostage, pursued by soldiers, the agency said.

Moments earlier, the roof of the Russian school where hundreds are being held hostage caved in.

Special forces have been forced to act in view of developments around the school.

Earlier, a group of hostages escaped from the school, news agencies said, and adults were seen carrying children to nearby cars following three explosions in the area.

Six loud explosions could be heard outside the school within the space of about 15 minutes, and shortly afterwards it was reported that some hostages had escaped.

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My guess it that this will be over by today or tomorrow,

right now it's special ops. in the building.

I hope no kids will get killed sad_o.gif

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My guess it that this will be over by today or tomorrow,

right now it's special ops. in the building.

I hope no kids will get killed  sad_o.gif

You know that 20% hostages dead is a standard.

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My guess it that this will be over by today or tomorrow,

right now it's special ops. in the building.

I hope no kids will get killed  sad_o.gif

You know that 20% hostages dead is a standard.

This may or may not be fact......but still a little tasteless Gordy rock.gif

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The number of hostages that the russian managesd to get free were only a small number of total hostages ,as said on BBC.Those rescued were mainly the older children and some adults.

Some of the rebels managed to flee the area and took some hostages with them ,as reported by BBc also.

I expect a similar deathtoll as in the Moscow theatre tragedy ,if not more ,and mostly kids. sad_o.gif

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I hate ambiguous Russian English. From Interfax:

Quote[/b] ]Most children held by terrorists alive

BESLAN. Sept 3 (Interfax) - Most of the children taken hostage in Beslan are alive, according to sources in the North Ossetian Interior Ministry.

Injuries were suffered by children in that group which had run out of the school building and came under terrorist fire. The children who remained in the school building mostly did not suffer.

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I see on CNN atm, Russian troops storming the building and a lot of people running away of the school.

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I'm beginning to think that the worst has happened.

Terrorists provoked that. They started to kill hostages.

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I hope they catch some of the terrorists alive.

I hope they're lynched on the spot.

Russian troops say they have control over the building but the CNN guy (via videophone) says he still hears shots.

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If you watch BBC News 24 you can see live cam and sound, TASS is saying that they have control which tbh is bullshit as i can hear gunfire still, its heavy.

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If you watch BBC News 24 you can see live cam and sound, TASS is saying that they have control which tbh is bullshit as i can hear gunfire still, its heavy.

I think one of the journalists said that the terrorist moved out of the building and they now hear fire on the streets, but it seems like a lot of people survived

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I hope they catch some of the terrorists alive.

I hope they're lynched on the spot.

Russian troops say they have control over the building but the CNN guy (via videophone) says he still hears shots.

If terrorists are being chased or some are pinned down in the school complex, there will still be gunfire.

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Quote[/b] ]Paramedics with Stretchers Enter Russian School

3 minutes ago

BESLAN, Russia (Reuters) - Paramedics carrying stretchers on Friday entered the Russian school where hundreds of children and adults had been held by armed militants, witnesses said.

They went into the premises in Beslan, southern Russia, after Russian forces took control and rebels fled amid gunfire and loud explosions.

Ekho Moskvy radio reported that 158 children had been taken to hospital.

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New development:

Terrorists fleed from the building, including white dressed suicide bombers. Russian troops are chasing them.

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