BESLAN, September 3. /TASS/. The students of School Number One in Russia’s North Caucasus town of Beslan released 334 white balloons into the air in memory of 334 victims of the 2004 terrorist attack.
Mourning activities have been going on since September 1. Mourning music can be heard at the site, people are bringing flowers and toys. A wooden cross has been erected in the center of the school’s gym, where terrorists kept hostages 14 years ago, and a liturgy service was held there at 9:00 in the morning.
At 13:05, a bell rang twice to mark the first two explosions that had hit the gym. After that, a minute of silence followed, when school students released white balloons into the air.
A sacred procession carrying the photos of the deceased marched from the school site to the City of Angels Memorial Cemetery where the victims of the terrorist attack - the kids, their parents and teachers, as well as emergency personnel and members of the Alpha and Vympel special units, are buried. Flowers and bottles of water were laid at the Tree of Grief Memorial. The names of all the victims were read aloud to the sound of a metronome.
Beslan school siege
A group of more than 30 terrorists seized Beslan’s School Number One on the morning of September 1, 2004, kidnapping over 1,000 people, including small children. The attackers kept the hostages in the gym, giving them neither food nor water. An operation to free the hostages was launched on September 3.
A total of 334 people died in the siege, including 186 children. As many as ten commandos also lost their lives, as well as two Emergency Ministry personnel and 15 police officers, while 810 hostages, commandos, police officers and military personnel suffered wounds.