RealNews

Explosives-rigged gunmen take scores hostage at southern Russia school

Gunmen with explosives strapped around their waists took up to 240 people hostage at a school in southern Russia near war-torn Chechnya and threatened to blow up the building if the security forces moved in. At least two people were killed and one was in critical condition after 20 masked and heavily armed people dressed in black burst into the courtyard of the school in the town of Beslan, in the fourth terror attack to rock Russia in a week. The hostage takers, who reportedly included women, herded the children and adults into a gym and demanded to meet with the head of the local region of North Ossetia and neighboring Ingushetia, ITAR-TASS reported. Conflicting reports said up to 400 people may be being held hostage, but Russian television quoted law enforcement officials as saying that 200 pupils had been taken captive, along with 40 parents and teachers, on the first day of the new school year. Some reports also said the gunmen, who had apparently mined the perimeter of the school, were demanding the release of rebels imprisoned in Ingushetia following a deadly raid there in June. Full Story

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