Sat, 05 Mar 2005
From:

Five seizure suspects killed

RUSSIA: Russian authorities have killed five people suspected of aiding September's school hostage-taking in southern Russia and arrested four other suspects, prosecutors said on Friday.

Deputy Prosecutor General Nikolai Shepel said in a statement that the arrested men were suspected of helping stage the hostage-taking in Beslan where assailants held more than 1,000 hostages for nearly three days before the siege ended Sept. 3 in gunfire and explosions that killed 330 people, nearly half of them children.

Shepel said that five other suspects were killed while resisting arrest. The statement did not say when or where the raid took place.

The suspects were accused of being involved in the school raid "at the stage of its preparation", Shepel said.

Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev has claimed responsibility for the school seizure and other latest terror attacks in Russia, including twin plane bombings in August and an explosion near a Moscow subway station in which about 110 people died. --AP





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