Tuesday, July 5, 2011


After the bloody conclusion of the crisis, many of the injured died in the only hospital in Beslan, which was highly unprepared to cope with the casualties, before the patients were sent to better-equipped facilities in Vladikavkaz. Relatives were not allowed to visit hospitals where the wounded were treated.
The day after the storming, bulldozers gathered the debris of the building, including the body parts of the victims, and removed it to a garbage dump. The first of the many funerals were conducted on September 4, the day after the final assault, with more following soon after, including mass burials of 120 people. The local cemetery was too small and had to be expanded to an adjacent plot of land to accommodate the dead. Three days after the siege, 180 people were still missing. Many survivors remained severely traumatized and at least one female former hostage committed suicide after returning home.

The unfortunate victims of the attack.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, after returning to Moscow, ordered a two-day period of national mourning for September 6 and September 7, 2004. On the second day of mourning, an estimated 135,000 people joined a government-organised rally against terrorism on the Red Square in Moscow. An estimated 40,000 people gathered in Saint Petersburg's Palace Square.
Increased security measures were introduced to Russian cities. More than 10,000 people without proper documents were detained by Moscow police in a "terrorist hunt". The Russian public appeared to be generally supportive of increased security measures. A September 16, 2004 Levada-Center poll found 58% of Russians supporting stricter counter-terrorism laws and the death penalty for terrorism, while 33% would support banning all Chechens from entering Russian cities.

Motives and Demands
Russian negotiators say the Beslan militants never explicitly stated their demands, although they did have notes handwritten by one of the hostages on a school notebook, in which they spelled out demands of full Russian troop withdrawal from Chechnya and recognition of Chechen independence.
The hostage-takers were reported to have made the following demands:
• Withdrawal of Russian troops from Chechnya and independence for Chechnya.
• Presence of the following people at the school: Aleksander Dzasokhov (president of North Ossetia), Murat Zyazikov (president of Ingushetia), Ruslan Aushev (former president of Ingushetia), Leonid Roshal (a pediatrician). Alternatively, instead of Roshal and Aushev, the hostage-takers might have named Vladimir Rushailo and Alu Alkhanov (pro-Moscow President of Chechnya).
Shortly after the crisis, official Russian sources stated that the attackers were part of a supposed international group led by Basayev that included a number of Arabs with connections to al-Qaeda, and claimed they picked up phone calls in Arabic from the Beslan school to Saudi Arabia and another undisclosed Middle Eastern country. Two English/Algerians are among the identified rebels who actively participated in the attack: Osman Larussi and Yacine Benalia. Another UK citizen named Kamel Rabat Bouralha, arrested while trying to leave Russia immediately following the attack, was suspected to be a key organizer. All three were linked to the Finsbury Park Mosque of north London. The allegations of al-Qaeda involvement were not repeated since then by the Russian government.
According to the Russian government, following people were named as planners and financiers of the attack:
• Shamil Basayev – Chechen rebel leader who took ultimate responsibility for the attack, he died in Ingushetia in July 2006 in disputed circumstances.
• Kamel Rabat Bouralha – British-Algerian suspected of organizing the attack, who was reported detained in Chechnya in September 2004.
• Abu Omar al-Saif – Saudi national and accused financer, killed in Dagestan in December 2005.
• Abu Zaid Al-Kuwaiti – Kuwaiti national and accused organizer, who died in Ingushetia in February 2005.
In November 2004, 28-year-old Akhmed Merzhoyev and 16-year-old Marina Korigova of Sagopshi, Ingushetia, were arrested by the Russian authorities in connection with Beslan. Merzhoyev was charged with providing food and equipment to the hostage-takers, and Korigova with having possession of a phone that Tsechoyev had phoned multiple times. Korigova was released when her defence attorney showed that she was given the phone by an acquaintance after the crisis.

In-depth information

Comintern Street SNO was one of seven schools in Beslan, a town of around 35,000 people in the republic of North Ossetia-Alania, Russian Caucasus. The school, located right next to the district police station, had around 60 teachers and more than 800 students. Its gymnasium, where most of the estimated 1,200 hostages were to spend 52 hours of captivity, measured 10 metres wide and 25 metres long.
Several witnesses have testified they were made to help their captors remove the weapons from the caches hidden in the school. There were also claims that the militants or their accomplices constructed a "sniper's nest" position on the sports hall roof in advance.
It was also reported that the SNO in Beslan was used by Ossetian militia forces as an internment camp for ethnic Ingush civilians in late 1992 during the short but bloody Ingush–Ossetian East Prigorodny conflict, in which hundreds of Ingush residents of North Ossetia lost their lives or disappeared during the week-long hostilities, and thus the school was arguably chosen as the target of the attack by the mostly-Ingush rebel group because of this connection. According to media reports, SNO was one of several buildings in which the Ossetians had held Ingush citizens, many of them women and children; the hostages sat on the gymnasium floor, deprived of food and water, just as the Ossetians would do in the 2004 siege, and several male hostages were hauled outside and executed. Beslan, like the major Army airbase in nearby Mozdok, was also site of an airfield used by the Russian military aviation for its combat operation in the nearby republic of Chechnya since 1994.

Here is a video on the Beslan School seige

The Crisis
Wednesday September 1
0530 (all times BST): School seized by unknown gunmen, shots exchanged with police. Reports of death toll range from two to eight people. More than a dozen wounded.
0750: Russian media report that attackers are wearing suicide-bomb belts and threatening to blow up school. Hundreds of hostages, including many children, are herded into the gymnasium and the building is mined.
1340: Russian news agencies report 15 children released.
1630: Security official says authorities have established contact with hostage-takers.
Thursday September 2
1000: Ruslan Aushev, an Afghan war veteran and former president of neighbouring Ingushetia region, holds talks with hostage-takers in school gym.
1240: First hostages released, women and small children taken to safety. Officials say a total of 26 hostages released.
Friday September 3
0900: Emergencies ministry workers approach school with agreement of militants to retrieve bodies of dead hostages that have been lying in front of school for two days. Later reports suggest that 10 to 20 hostages may have been executed by this stage in addition to the earlier fatalities.
1000-1030: There are two large explosions from inside the school followed by gunfire. There were many claims as of what caused the explosions.
Whatever the cause of the explosions, hostages took the explosions as a signal to flee and militants then open fire on them. Security forces return fire and lead 30 women and children to safety. Some of the militants try to flee the building.
Security forces pursue them into a nearby town and storm the school building. A gun battle as troops blew a hole in the side of one of the school buildings and begun freeing hostages. Soldiers carry out the badly injured.
1030-1130: The roof of the school partially collapses after a series of explosions. Some gun men attempt to escape in the crowd during the battle.
1130-1230: Gunfire continues at the school two hours after it was stormed. Itar-Tass reports all the hostages are believed to have been evacuated but it becomes clear later that some were still being held.
Several militants escape and take refuge in a local house, surrounded by Russian troops. Explosions and gunfire are heard in streets near the school.
1330: More than 100 bodies are found in the school, mostly in the gymnasium where the roof had collapsed. Two emergency workers are reportedly killed, as well as 10 militants. Health officials say 409 are wounded, 219 of them children.
1555: Interfax reports three militants, possibly including the group's leader, are blockaded in school basement.
1630: A Russian presidential aide says nine militants killed in the hostage crisis were Arab mercenaries.
1700-1800: A loud explosion is heard from inside school compound. Three militants are arrested trying to escape in civilian dress. Officials say four hostage-takers are still at large.
There are reports that almost 650 people were hospitalised.
1850: Fighting ends in the school's basement but two militants are still at large.
2120:The death toll rises to more than 200.
2140: Sporadic explosions and gunfire continue despite reports that all resistance by militants has been suppressed.
2150: Officials at the Russian crisis coordination centre say two militants have been killed in the past hour.
2300: Interfax quotes a Russian official as saying a total of 27 hostage-takers have been killed.


The Beslan school hostage crisis (also referred to as the Beslan school siege or Beslan massacre) of early September 2004 was a three-day hostage-taking of over 1,100 people which ended in the deaths of over 380. It began when a group of armed mostly Ingush and Chechen Islamic militants took more than 1,100 people (including 777 children) hostage on 1 September, at School Number One (SNO) in the town of Beslan, North Ossetia, an autonomous republic in the North Caucasus region of the Russian Federation. The hostage taking was carried out by the group Riyadus-Salikhin, sent by the Chechen separatist warlord Shamil Basayev who issued demands of an end to the Second Chechen War and Russian withdrawal from Chechnya. On the third day of the standoff, Russian security forces stormed the building, using tanks, incendiary rockets and other heavy weapons. A series of explosions shook the school, followed by a fire which engulfed the building and a chaotic gunbattle between the hostage-takers and Russian security forces. Ultimately, at least 334 hostages were killed, including 186 children; hundreds more were injured and many were reported missing.
In this session we will be reading about this disaster.

Basic Information
Date: 1 September 2004 – 3 September 2004
Deaths: At least 385
Injured: About 783

One of the terrorists responsible for this attack

The tragedy led to security and political repercussions in Russia, most notably a series of federal government reforms consolidating power in the Kremlin and strengthening of the powers of the President of Russia.
As of 2011, there are many aspects of the crisis still in dispute, including how many militants were involved, their preparations, and whether some of them had escaped. Questions about the government's management of the crisis have also persisted, including disinformation and censorship in news media, repression of journalists who rushed to Beslan, the nature and content of negotiations with the militants, the responsibility for the bloody outcome, and the government's use of possibly excessive force.

Monday, July 4, 2011


Please go to this page http://myquizcreator.com/take/4409 to do the quiz.


Imagine that you are a teacher teaching at the School Number One in Beslan North Ossetia-Alania when terrorists stormed the classroom. Write a personal recount of the incident and how the situation could be handled better.(At least 300 words and post it as a comment below stating your group members)