Here’s a look at the Beslan School Siege.
On September 1, 2004, armed Chechen rebels took approximately 1,200 children and adults hostage at a school in Beslan, North Ossetia, Russia, at approximately 9 a.m. local time.
The siege ended on September 3, 2004, with more than 330 killed, including 186 children, and more than 700 people wounded.
Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev claimed responsibility for the attack.
Some reports suggest 31 of 32 hostage takers were killed. Two of the militants purportedly were women.
The siege took place on the first day of classes in Beslan.
The hostage takers reportedly wore suicide belts, and bombs were strapped to the basketball goals in the gymnasium.
September 1, 2004
Armed Chechen rebels take approximately 1,200 children and adults hostage at a school in Beslan.
– 4:40 p.m. – 12 children and one adult escape after hiding in a boiler room.
– 7:30 p.m. – Contact is established with hostage takers.
September 2, 2004
– President Vladimir Putin cancels a trip to Turkey and makes a public statement about the school seizure.
– 4:45 p.m. – Approximately 26 hostages are released.
– 9:00 p.m. – Local authorities say approximately 20 male hostages are executed.
September 3, 2004
– 1:00 p.m. – Local authorities receive permission from hostage takers to remove bodies lying in front of the school that have been there since the siege began. A few minutes later, loud explosions are heard. Hostages begin fleeing the building and are shot at. Militants also begin fleeing the building. The roof in the gymnasium, where hundreds of hostages are held, collapses, killing many.
– 2:30 p.m. – Russian commandos take over the school and free many hostages.
– 3:17 p.m. – Most of the hostages are reportedly evacuated.
– The siege ends with more than 330 hostages dead; half of them are children.
May 18, 2005 – The trial opens for the only person charged in the case, Nur-Pashi Kulayev. He was the only hostage taker captured alive.
May 16, 2006 – Kulayev is found guilty of terrorism and other charges in the first part of his verdict. He is sentenced to life in prison on May 26.
December 22, 2006 – A Russian parliamentary commission releases a report on its investigation into the massacre. The report blames Chechen guerillas for the high death toll and exonerates Russian security forces. Some families denounce the report as a cover-up.
April 4, 2017 – The European Court of Human Rights orders Russia to pay nearly 3 million euros ($3.2 million) to the families of victims. The court says it found “serious failings” by Russian authorities in response to the attack, which contributed to the casualties among the hostages, and that Russia had not done enough to prevent the attack, despite having “sufficiently specific information of a planned terrorist attack in the area, linked to an educational institution.”
September 19, 2017 – Citing a statement from Russia’s justice ministry, Russian news agency Interfax reports that Russia will abide by the European Court of Human Rights ruling to pay the damages ordered by the court in April 2017.