On September 1 the North Ossetian town of Beslan is commemorating victims of the 2004 school siege that claimed more than 300 lives.
On September 1, 2004, a group of about 30 terrorists led by Rasul Khachbarov took more than 1,100 hostages at Beslan’s school No. 1. The hostage drama lasted for three days.
On the second day the terrorists agreed to release more than 20 women and children after talks with Ingush President Ruslan Aushev.
On September 3, the Russian security forces started storming the school building. Most hostages were released. The siege left 335 people, 186 of them children, killed. More than 800 people were injured.
The only surviving terrorist, Nurpashi Kulayev, was found guilty of terrorism and mass murder and sentenced to life imprisonment by a North Ossetian court in May 2005.
Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev claimed responsibility for the school siege.
Memorial vigils are held in Beslan every year on September 1-3 to commemorate the victims of the tragedy.