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Beslan Death Count Upped To 342


29 September 2004 -- The latest official figures say that at least 342 people, many of them children, were killed during 1-3 September hostage crisis in Beslan, North Ossetia

Russia's Emergency Situations Ministry said the figure includes 331 civilians, 172 of them children. Eleven Russian soldiers from the Federal Security Service were also killed.

In addition, 31 hostage-takers were killed in the siege.

Militants seized a Beslan school on 1 September, taking some 1,200 schoolchildren, teachers, and parents hostage.

The siege ended in tragedy two days later after a chaotic gun battle between militants, security forces, and armed civilians.

(ITAR-TASS/AFP)
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