Beslan school terrorist attack marks 13 years anniversary

Beslan school terrorist attack marks 13 years anniversary

Rallies in memory of those, who were killed in the attack on Beslan school Number 1 are taking place in in southern Russian republic of North Ossetia. 

At 08:00 Moscow time the bell in the schoolyard announced the beginning of the 'Memory Watch' in Beslan.

Those present at the memorial event will lay wreaths at the Tree of Sorrow monument. After that, the procession will go to the gym with candles, where 13 years ago terrorists held hostages.

One of Moscow’s streets will be named after Lieutenant Colonel Dmitry Razumovsky, a Hero of Russia, killed in the 2004 operation to liberate hostages from a school in Beslan, a statement published on the Moscow mayor’s website said.

"Dmitry Razumovsky Street will be unveiled in the Kryukovo district, the Zelenograd Administrative Area. Razumovsky lived in Kryukovo in the late 1980s and many locals still remember him. In his memory, an annual parachuting tournament is held in Kryukovo," the statement reads.

Dmitry Razumovsky took part in the storming of the Beslan school seized by terrorists and was killed in the operation on September 3, 2004. He was awarded the Hero of Russia title posthumously. In Beslan, a memorial plaque was installed on the site of his death.

Beslan's Secondary School No. 1 was seized by a group of terrorists at 09.15 (MSK) on September 1, 2004. Extremists captured 1116 people, including teachers, parents and children who the Day of Knowledge. Terrorists kept the hostages locked up in the school gym with no food and no water for three days. Casualties included 335 people, including 186 children. 126 others were disabled, including 70 children.

The terrorists herded most of the hostages into the school gym and several other locations in the school. At first, they did not put forward any demands, but soon said that they wanted to see then North Ossetian head Alexander Dzasokhov, then Ingush President Murat Zyazikov and the Moscow Emergency Children’s Surgery and Traumatology Research Institute director, Leonid Roshal. According to some reports, they demanded the withdrawal of Russian forces from the Chechen Republic and the release of previously arrested terrorists.

The end came on September 3 when a vehicle with four members of the Emergencies Ministry drove to the school at about noon to collect the bodies of the hostages killed by the terrorists. Two powerful explosions were heard inside the gym followed by shooting. Women and children – almost all of the men were killed by terrorists in the first two days – started jumping from windows and escaping through a hole in the sports hall’s wall.

According to investigators, the explosions were spontaneous and provoked an unplanned assault on the school building by special forces troops. The exchange of fire lasted until late in the evening and the building was partially destroyed.

According to the Prosecutor General's Office, the gang that attacked the school included 32 militants, including two female suicide bombers, whose bombs exploded even before the assault. Only one militant – Nurpashi Kulayev – was arrested during the operation. All of the others were killed.

Monuments to Beslan victims have been built in other Russian cities and abroad, in Vladikavkaz, St. Petersburg, Moscow, the village of Kosta Khetagurov in the Karachaevo–Cherkessian Republic and in Florence, Italy. In March 2015, a central street in Campo San Martino, Veneto, a northern region of Italy, was renamed Street of Beslan Children.

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