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Scene Of Beslan Tragedy To Be Preserved

A cross at the site of the 2004 Beslan school siege.
BESLAN, North Ossetia -- The School No. 1 made infamous in a three-day hostage crisis and tragic rescue effort in this North Ossetian town five years ago will be preserved in its current, bullet- and explosion-ravaged state, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

The Beslan school complex was virtually destroyed during the 2004 incident, and has remained a hallowed site for those mourning the more than 330 victims who died, including 186 children.

Martin Stockmeier, a representative of the German firm working on the project, KnaufKassel, told RFE/RL that company would work to preserve the gutted remains of the building.

Stockmeier said a new building would be constructed nearby to house a museum to commemorate the victims of the Beslan tragedy.

The militants, all but one of whom are thought to have been killed when Russian forces launched a rescue effort two days after the standoff began, were demanding the withdrawal of Russian troops from neighboring Chechnya.