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Archive for Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Authorities exonerated over deadly school siege

December 28, 2005

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— Prosecutors examining last year's school siege in Beslan have found no reason to blame security forces for the deaths of 331 hostages during a police raid, the official leading the probe said Tuesday, provoking outrage from relatives of victims.

The comments by Deputy Prosecutor General Nikolai Shepel differed sharply from last month's report by a regional legislative panel that accused Russian authorities of botching rescue efforts and urged that those responsible for the Sept. 3, 2004, bloodbath be punished.

Islamic militants seized Beslan's School No. 1 on the first day of school, taking more than 1,100 children, parents and staff hostage; 182 children eventually died during the siege.

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