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Beslan: Three Days Of Terror

On September 1, 2004, Chechen militants stormed an elementary school in the town of Beslan in the Russian republic of North Ossetia. They took 1,100 teachers, children, and their relatives hostage, demanding the withdrawal of federal forces from Chechnya as a condition for their release. On September 3, 2004, Russian security forces stormed the building, resulting in a battle in which more than 330 hostages died, including 186 children.


Russian soldiers take up positions in front of School No. 1 in Beslan after militants stormed the building on September 1, 2004.
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Russian soldiers take up positions in front of School No. 1 in Beslan after militants stormed the building on September 1, 2004.

Women stand outside the school on the first day of the hostage crisis.
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Women stand outside the school on the first day of the hostage crisis.

A screen grab from Russian NTV shows special forces soldiers outside the school.
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A screen grab from Russian NTV shows special forces soldiers outside the school.

A soldier carries a baby after the militants released 26 women and children on the second day of the crisis.
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A soldier carries a baby after the militants released 26 women and children on the second day of the crisis.

Volunteers carry an injured civilian to safety while soldiers storm the school on September 3, the third day of the hostage crisis. A number of witnesses said they saw tanks fire on the school. Russian authorities' handing of the crisis would come under heavy scrutiny in the wake of the tragedy.
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Volunteers carry an injured civilian to safety while soldiers storm the school on September 3, the third day of the hostage crisis. A number of witnesses said they saw tanks fire on the school. Russian authorities' handing of the crisis would come under heavy scrutiny in the wake of the tragedy.

A man assists two young hostages who managed to escape from the school after special forces stormed the building.
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A man assists two young hostages who managed to escape from the school after special forces stormed the building.

Recently freed hostages comfort each other outside the school.
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Recently freed hostages comfort each other outside the school.

Boys take shelter in a vehicle after their escape from the school.
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Boys take shelter in a vehicle after their escape from the school.

A man carries an injured boy to safety.
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A man carries an injured boy to safety.

A view of the damaged school building the day after special forces ended the siege.
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A view of the damaged school building the day after special forces ended the siege.

A mother touches her injured daughter's hair as she recovers at a hospital in Vladikavkaz, the regional capital of North Ossetia.
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A mother touches her injured daughter's hair as she recovers at a hospital in Vladikavkaz, the regional capital of North Ossetia.

Relatives try to identify the bodies of victims outside a morgue in Vladikavkaz.
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Relatives try to identify the bodies of victims outside a morgue in Vladikavkaz.

Relatives mourn at a cemetery in Beslan.
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Relatives mourn at a cemetery in Beslan.

Two girls touch pictures of hostages who remained missing three days after the end of the hostage crisis.
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Two girls touch pictures of hostages who remained missing three days after the end of the hostage crisis.

A bailiff tries to silence women speaking out during the trial of Nurpashi Kulayev, the only militant arrested during the Beslan hostage crisis, at a court in Vladikavkaz on May 19, 2005.
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A bailiff tries to silence women speaking out during the trial of Nurpashi Kulayev, the only militant arrested during the Beslan hostage crisis, at a court in Vladikavkaz on May 19, 2005.

Nurpashi Kulayev, the only surviving militant of the Beslan siege, was sentenced to life in prison on May 26, 2006.
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Nurpashi Kulayev, the only surviving militant of the Beslan siege, was sentenced to life in prison on May 26, 2006.

Family members expressed their anger in court in 2007 after three policemen implicated in the event were given amnesty. The police officers had been charged with negligence in the handling of the crisis.
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Family members expressed their anger in court in 2007 after three policemen implicated in the event were given amnesty. The police officers had been charged with negligence in the handling of the crisis.

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