[QODLink]
Archive
Russian forces planned to storm school

The head of Russia's FSB secu

Last Modified: 20 Sep 2004 23:12 GMT
When the hostage crisis ended, 339 people had been killed

The head of Russia's FSB security service has admitted that plans were made to storm the school holding hostages in Beslan, but they were not ready when the confrontation erupted in violence.

Addressing a special session of the upper house of the Russian legislature on Monday, FSB chief Nikolai Patrushev said the violence was triggered by an accidental blast in the school.

 

The session was called to discuss new Russian security measures and the situation in the north Caucasus.

  

"We planned an assault, but we were not ready at that exact moment," Federation Council member Alexei Mitrofanov quoted Patrushev as saying.

  

Patrushev's reported comments marked a departure from remarks by other Russian officials who had so far stated that there were no plans to use violence to end the hostage siege at the school in Beslan.

 

Bloody culmination

 

The bloody culmination of the confrontation on 3 September involved exchanges of heavy fire not just between the hostage-takers and security forces, but also with armed local residents.

Local residents were also involved
in the exchange of gunfire

  

The crisis, the deadliest of its kind, resulted in the deaths of at least 339 people, half of them children, as well as the killing of 31 captors.

   

Russian authorities said there were 354 hostages held in the school while other reports put the figure at 1200.

  

Patrushev also brushed off criticism over his absence from the scene, saying he, like other Russian officials, "feared terrorist strikes in other regions if they all visited Beslan at the same time".

  

The Federation Council and the Duma will create a 21-member parliamentary commission to inquire into the hostage-taking.

  

Of the 11 chosen from the council, "five have experience of working in the law and order forces and six are civilians", said council president Serguei Mironov.

  

"In selecting them, we took into consideration the right of these people to access top secret documents," Mironov said, adding that no commission members would have the right to comment publicly during the enquiry.

Source:
AFP
Topics in this article
People
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Since she was 16-years-old, Scottish Nationalist Party's Sturgeon has strove for independence from the UK.
Armed group's ransom success with German hostages marks a re-emergence, as authorities investigate ISIL links.
Western nations are moving into the resource-rich country after decades of disinterest, challenging China's interests.