< link rel="DCTERMS.isreplacedby" href="http://bokertov.typepad.com/ btb/" >

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Northern Osetia, Russia:


My daughter's sister-in-law is from Osetia; I am praying her family is not involved with School No. 895 in the town of Beslan. Those poor people, it's everyone's worst nightmare.


from Logic & Sanity, where the blogger is translating Russian newswire reports:

Chechen terrorists (male and female) have seized school #895 in Beslan, North Osetia.They are holding 600 students, parents and teachers. They demand the release of 27 terrorists who were recently arrested ina raid in Ingushetia.

Terrorists have mined the area around the school, and reportedly the female terrorists are wearing suicide belts.

Terrorists have announced, via a loudspeaker, that they will kill 20 students for each terrorist killed by the police.

They have also made the students stand in order to prevent the police from shooting at the windows.

About the school. School #895 has a capacity of 895 studentsand 59 teachers.

I will keep updating from various russian wires every 5-15 minutes.

Details... ~ 50 children managed to escape at the time of seizure. 11 students and 4 adults hid in the boiler room (from where they were safely led out by the police). Later on, 2 girls managed to escape.

They report that the terrorists are acting very aggresively and are scaring the children. One of the terrorists is wounded.

The hostages are being kept in the school's gymnasium. The number of hostages mentioned here is 500+.

There are about 25 terrorists, 4 of them are women with bomb belts, and they also have 2 dogs.

21 year old Kazik brought his sister to school. He tells the journalist what he witnessed. Around 9 am, an old truck pulled up and about 20 heavily armed terrorists dressed in black and wear black masks and 4 women with bomb belts came out. Children started to run. Those who were standing closest to the street were able to make it out. Terorrists starting pushing others, and throwing some children through windows (!!!). And elderly woman was shot, and a girl who looked like an 11th grader was shot in the back. She died on the spot. Kazik's sister is still a hostage.

Soldiers are saying that terorrists are getting bold. They are looking outside, laughing, and seems like they are speaking arabic amongst themselves. They are also yelling in Russian for the authorities to release terorrists who were recently arrested in Ingushetia.

from Outlook India:
Suspected Chechen suicide bombers today seized a school in southern Russia taking upto 400 people, including 200 children and teachers, hostage, a day after a suicide attack left 11 people dead and dozens injured outside a subway station here.

At least eight people were killed after the heavily armed militants, both men and women numbering upto 20 and clad in black 'fidayeen' (suicide) garbs, poured into the high school compound in Caucasian town of Beslan in the republic of North Osetia at 9 am (local time), shortly after the ceremony of the beginning of new school year, and took parents, pupils and teachers hostage, Itar-tass news agency reported.

At least one of the attackers, who were demanding the withdrawal of federal forces from Chechnya and release of arrested colleagues from jails, was also killed in the shootout with police, the state-run Rossia channel reported.

"During the storming of the building, one of the residents died, and one militant who participated in the attack was killed by policemen who guarded the school," officials of the crisis management committee told Itar-Tass.

Seven people, who were wounded as a result of school seizure, died in hospital, the agency reported. . . .

North Ossetia, the Russian Caucasus' only Christian province, borders on Chechnya.

"There are many small school children, pupils of class one and two among the hostages," North Osetia's Interior Minister Kazbek Dzantiyev was quoted as saying by Itar-Tass. . . .

In a parallel development the holed up militants set the roof of a five storey building on fire with the help of tracer bullets. However, the blaze was put off, but all the residents of the nearby building have been evacuated.

The school attack came a day after a suicide bombing in Moscow killed 11 people and injured dozens others. It also came a week after the crash of two Russian airliners that killed more than 90 people. Both incidents have been linked to the Chechen rebels.


. . . hullo? . . .