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Commemorations for Victims of Beslan Tragedy

  • VOA News

Thousands of people in the southern Russian town of Beslan have gathered in the ruins of a local school to honor those killed a year ago after armed militants seized the building demanding a Russian pullout from Chechnya.

A lone bell tolled as participants observed a moment of silence and released more than 330 white balloons into the air, one for each of the dead hostages.

The victims, mostly children, were killed when a series of explosions and a police raid ended the three-day siege.

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the country's top prosecutor to send a fact-finding team to Beslan.

On Friday, a delegation of mothers whose children were killed in the tragedy met with Mr. Putin and told him that negligent or corrupt officials were at least in part responsible for the bloodbath.

Commemorations of the tragedy also took place throughout Russia.

Information for this report is provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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