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Mourners Gather In Beslan

1 September 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Hundreds of mourners gathered today in a school in Beslan, in Russia's southern North Ossetia republic, to mark the first anniversary of the start of a hostage tragedy there that claimed 331 lives.

Bells rang at the exact time when, one year ago, militants entered Beslan School No. 1, taking hostage more than 1,100 children, parents, and teachers.

The school seizure ended three days later when amid explosions heard inside, Russian forces stormed the building.

More than half of those killed were children.

There was a heavy police presence in Beslan today amid concerns of a possible repeat attack.

Mothers of some of the victims accuse the authorities of mishandling the crisis, in part leading to the high death toll.

On 2 September, they are due to meet with President Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin.

Authorities say all but one of the 32 attackers were killed. The man they say is the sole survivor is on trial.

(compiled from agency reports)

See RFE/RL's dedicated webpage, see "Remembering Beslan"

Audio Slide Show -- Beslan: One Year Later. Real Player, Windows Media

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