Russia marks anniversary of Beslan school carnage

September 1 is the beginning of new academic year in Russia`s schools and colleges and is celebrated as the Day of Knowledge.

Last Updated: Sep 02, 2011, 00:05 AM IST

Moscow: Russia on Thursday marked the seventh
anniversary of the country`s bloodiest terror siege at a
school in Caucasus region by Chechen rebels that killed 334
people, including 186 children.

Mourners came to the remains of the school to lay flowers
and light candles in memory of the victims.

Russian Transport Minister Igor Levitin and other federal
and regional officials laid the wreaths at the bloodstained
walls of the school gym, Rossiya 24 channel reported.

On September 1, 2004 over 1,000 people, mostly school
children, their parents and teachers were taken hostage by the
militants and kept in the school gym without food and water
for 51 hours until the security teams rushed to free them
three days later after hearing sound of explosion from inside
the school.

Bordering on restive Chechnya, North Ossetia is the only
Christian-majority region in Russia`s predominantly Muslim
Caucasus region. The rebels demanded the withdrawal of Russian
troops from Chechnya.

September 1 is the beginning of new academic year in
Russia`s schools and colleges and is celebrated as the Day of
Knowledge, however, in Beslan the schools reopen after summer
holidays three days later.

PTI