Beslan school hostage crisis
The Beslan school hostage crisis (also referred to as the Beslan school siege or Beslan massacre) started the first of September 2004, lasted three days and involved the capture of over 1,100 people as hostages (including 777 children), ending with the death of 334 people. The crisis began when a group of armed Islamic separatist militants, mostly Ingushand Chechen, occupied School Number One (SNO) in the town of Beslan,North Ossetia (an autonomous republic in the North Caucasus region of theRussian Federation) on 1 September 2004.
The hostage-takers were theRiyadus-Salikhin Battalion, sent by the Chechen separatist warlord Shamil Basayev, who demanded recognition of the independence of Chechnya at the UN and Russian withdrawal from Chechnya. On the third day of the standoff, Russian security forces entered the building after several explosions, using other heavy weapons. At least 334 hostages were killed as a result of the crisis, including 186 children, with a significant number of people injured and reported missing.
The event led to security and political repercussions in Russia; most notably it contributed to a series of federal government reforms consolidating power in the Kremlin and strengthening of the powers of the President of Russia. As of 2011, aspects of the crisis in relation to the militants remain contentious: Questions remain regarding how many militants were involved, the nature of their preparations and whether a section of the group had escaped. Questions about the Russian government's management of the crisis have also persisted, including allegations of disinformation and censorship in news media, whether the journalists who were present at Beslan were allowed to freely report on the crisis, the nature and content of negotiations with the militants, allocation of responsibility for the eventual outcome, and perceptions that excessive force was used.
Sources: wikipedia.org, nekropole.info