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Beslan school siege

2004 Russian hostage crisis and massacre / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The Beslan school siege (also referred to as the Beslan school hostage crisis or the Beslan massacre)[3][4][5] was a terrorist attack that started on 1 September 2004, lasted three days, involved the imprisonment of more than 1,100 people as hostages (including 777 children)[6] and ended with the deaths of 333 people, 186 of them children,[7] as well as 31 of the attackers.[1] It is considered to be the deadliest school shooting in history.[8]

Quick facts: Beslan school siege, Location, Coordinates, D...
Beslan school siege
Part of the Second Chechen War, Terrorism in Russia and Islamic terrorism in Europe
From top left clockwise: the building of school No. 1 in 2008, the Orthodox cross in the gymnasium in memory of the victims, the "Tree of Sorrow" memorial cemetery, photos of the victims
LocationBeslan, North Ossetia-Alania (Russia)
Coordinates43°11′03″N 44°32′27″E
Date1 September 2004
~09:30 – 3 September 2004 ~17:00 (UTC+3)
TargetSchool Number One (SNO)
Attack type
Mass murder, hostage taking, terrorist attack, bombing, school shooting, shootout
WeaponsFirearms, explosives
Deaths333 (excluding 31 terrorists)[1]
PerpetratorsRiyad-us Saliheen
No. of participants
MotiveIndependence for Chechnya and the withdrawal of Russian troops

The crisis began when a group of armed terrorists occupied School Number One (SNO) in the town of Beslan, North Ossetia (an autonomous republic in the North Caucasus region of Russia) on 1 September 2004. The hostage-takers were members of the Riyad-us Saliheen, sent by the Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev, who demanded Russian withdrawal from and recognition of the independence of Chechnya. On the third day of the standoff, Russian security forces stormed the building.

The event had security and political repercussions in Russia, leading to a series of federal government reforms consolidating power in the Kremlin and strengthening the powers of the President of Russia.[9] Criticisms of the Russian government's management of the crisis have persisted, including allegations of disinformation and censorship in news media as well as questions about journalistic freedom,[10] negotiations with the terrorists, allocation of responsibility for the eventual outcome and the use of excessive force.[11][12][13][14][15]