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Beslan Survivors Demand Former Officials Testify

(RFE/RL) 2 December 2005 -- Survivors of last year's Beslan hostage crisis in Russia's southern republic of North Ossetia have threatened to hold protests unless former government officials testify at the trial of Nurpashi Kulaev, the only surviving suspected hostage taker.

The survivors on 1 December demanded that the North Ossetian Supreme Court summon former North Ossetia President Aleksandr Dzasokhov and republican Federal Security Service (FSB) head Valerii Andreev and question them on the circumstances that led to the death of more than 330 hostages.

They say they will not leave the courtroom unless the two men appear before the panel.

On 1 September 2004, a 32-strong militant commando group linked to the Chechen separatist leadership captured a school in the town of Beslan, triggering a three-day crisis that ended in bloodshed.

Russia blames the heavy death toll on the militants. But eyewitnesses and victims' relatives have questioned the official account of events.


Beslan Anniversary Special

Beslan Anniversary Special

A special webpage devoted to the first anniversary of the tragedy at Beslan.

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