Remembering the Beslan Siege and Massacre – 10 Years Ago Today
10 years ago today- The Beslan School Siege and Massacre
It was the first day of school.
A group of 32 armed Chechen separatists and Islamic fundamentalists, including one Saudi national, took more than 1,200 schoolchildren and adults hostage at School Number One (SNO) in the town of Beslan, North Ossetia-Alania.
334 died in the massacre.
Little did the children and parents know what the next 56 hours would bring.
Blogger KC the Kat put together this beautiful tribute to the children of Beslan.
(Warning: This will break your heart)
Guns, wires, and bombs.
During the siege the terrorists separated young girls from the other children and took them out of the gym to be raped. The Islamists forced their hostages to clean up blood off the floors from the dead children and adults. It was so hot the children were forced to strip off their new clothes. They drank their own urine to stay alive. They were not allowed to move. After the explosions in the gym one boy dragged his younger brother through the halls. He pulled his limp body through a broken window.
The boy from Beslan…
One of the most striking images coming from the Beslan School gymnasium during the early hours after the siege was this shot of a terrified young Beslan boy sitting in the gymnasium where he was being held by the Chechen terrorists.
The attack ended Sept. 3 when Russian forces stormed the school after explosions were heard inside.
On the first anniversary at School No. 1’s gymnasium, where more than 1,100 people mostly children endured nearly three days of heat, thirst, hunger and fear the children gathered at the school. Color photographs of the victims hung on bullet-scarred walls alongside faded graffiti begging victims’ forgiveness.
Family and friends of those killed and injured joined former hostages at the charred, crumbling shell of School Number One, a year after the attack.
They brought flowers and candles to the sports hall where more than 1,300 people were held captive for three days and where armed extremists strung bombs from the basketball hoops. The gym was papered with photographs of those who died there – children, teachers and parents and those killed trying to save them.
The BBC did a follow-up video on the terrified young Beslan boy one year after the tragedy- He was out riding his bike.
The trial for the lone surviving Beslan terrorist was held in 2005 in North Ossetia.
Today, Pope Francis sent a letter to Beslan residents on the ten year anniversary of the massacre.
Ria Novosti reported:
Pope Francis has written a letter to the residents of the town of Beslan in North Ossetia who are marking ten years since the Beslan school massacre, Italian media reported Monday.
Abbot Paolo De Carli, who sheltered 60 Beslan residents for two months at his monastery in the Trentino province in Italy in 2004, will take Pope Francis’s letter, the contents of which are not disclosed, to North Ossetia, the press service of the Honorary Consulate of the Russian Federation in Bolzano told RIA Novosti.
Paolo De Carli will also take part in the mourning ceremonies that will be organized by the consulate in the coming days.
The Beslan school massacre occurred on September 1, 2004 in the southern Russian republic of North Ossetia, when Islamic insurgents attacked Secondary School No. 1, taking more than 1,100 school children, their teachers and relatives hostage.