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Beslan Mothers Continue Hunger Strike

A woman weeps at a funeral for one of the Beslan school victims (file photo) (AFP) 13 February 2006 -- Six mothers of children who died in the September 2004 school massacre in Beslan continued for a fifth day today a hunger strike to protest against the official investigation of the tragedy.

The three-day standoff between armed militants who raided the school in North Ossetia and Russian security forces resulted in the deaths of 331 people, about half of them children.

Last week, a top Russian prosecutor demanded the death penalty for Nurpashi Kulayev, who authorities say is the lone surviving hostage taker. Kulayev is the only person on trial in connection with the massacre.

Victims' relatives say authorities bear part of the blame for the tragedy and have demanded an international probe.

Seven women began the hunger strike on 9 February, but one of them abandoned the protest after she began to feel ill. Two other women were also reportedly feeling sick.


Beslan Anniversary Special

Beslan Anniversary Special

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