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Russia Mourns For 335 Killed In School Siege

HeadlineSep 07, 2004

Russia has entered a second day of mourning to mark the 335 people killed in the Beslan school siege. In every street in Beslan, people have been burying their dead. Hundreds of men and women walked up and down the town’s main street in mass funeral processions. The Washington Post describes the scene like this: “The wails of those who were grieving joined the cries of those farther down the street until, in some moments, it sounded as if all of Beslan was in tears.” The three-day school hostage ordeal ended in bloodshed and pandemonium Friday when explosions tore apart the gym where more than 1,000 captives were being held, touching off an assault by Russian commandos and fierce gun battles in surrounding streets. The Los Angeles Times reported “The explosions, apparently set off unintentionally by the hostage-takers, turned the gymnasium into a mass of twisted metal, shattered bones and charred flesh, with at least 100 bodies scattered on the floor. After the blasts, half-naked children weak with thirst, many covered in blood, ran crying from the burning building with their captors in pursuit. At least 335 people were killed, about half of them children. 200 more people remain unaccounted for. We’ll have more on this in a few minutes.

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