Skip to comments.Eyewitness: Hostage terror (Survivors of school siege have been giving details of their ordeal)
Posted on 09/03/2004 11:00:54 AM PDT by michigander
Last Updated: , 15:31 GMT 16:31 UK
Eyewitness: Hostage terrorSurvivors of the Russian school siege have been giving details of their ordeal.
A teacher freed by the gang in the middle of the siege estimated there had been about 1,500 captives.
One boy who emerged on Friday, looking pale and anguished, told reporters he had been so shocked at his release he was unable to recognise his own parents.
Diana, another survivor, said people had had nothing to eat or drink.
"We were forced to urinate into bottles and drink our own urine through our shirts that we put over the top of them," she said.
Many of the children who ran to safety after Friday's explosions began were in their underwear, having been kept herded together by their captors in the late summer heat.
Two boys, one of them injured, told Russia's NTV channel of the moment an explosion gave them a chance to escape.
"Suddenly there was an explosion," said one.
"And we lay down behind our chairs - I was lying full of fear," said the other.
Struggle to escape
Asked how he had got his injuries, the wounded boy said he had been trying to break windows along with others.
"People could not get out and were smashing the windows," he said.
"We were lucky really that we had plastic windows in our sports hall. Otherwise there would have been more cuts and injuries.
"I saw people running away in all directions. Some 200 or 300 people were running in the same direction as we were."
The boy said that the captors had opened fire on the escaping hostages.
"They were firing at the escaping people from the top of the roof," he told NTV.
The boys added that the first explosion had produced a lot of smoke while a second blast rained down burning debris.
Bombs in the gym
Rita Gadzhinova, a physics teacher, was freed by the gang on Thursday along with her three-year-old daughter, Madina, but was not allowed to take out her other two daughters, aged 11 and 14.
In an interview for Russia's Izvestiya newspaper, she described how the gang had seized the school in a matter of minutes, taking hostage about 1,500 people, according to her calculations.
The attackers herded their captives into the gym where they planted two big bombs in the two basketball baskets and laid cables leading to other, smaller charges across the floor, said Ms Gadzhinova.
Asked to describe them, she said they had never removed their masks and always talked in a whisper, speaking in Russian with Chechen or Ingush accents. She said she could not tell how many of them there were and had not seen any women fighters in the gym.
They would fire into the ceiling to frighten their captives but did not abuse anyone, she said.
However, men among the hostages were periodically put up against windows as human shields, the teacher added.
"The youngest children were very frightened but they behaved with great discipline though they often asked to go to the toilet because of their fear," she said.
"They were marched to the toilet and if the toddlers started to cry the fighters would fire blanks in the air and shout for them to keep quiet."
Fellow hostage Zalina Dzandarova, 27, said two women suicide bombers had blown themselves up in a corridor of the school on the first day of the siege, killing some male hostages.
"The men terrorists told us afterwards that their sisters had conquered," she said.
Speaking to Russia's Kommersant newspaper, she supported Mrs Gadzhinova's figure of 1,500 hostages and added that there seemed to have been about 30 gunmen.
Ms Dzandarova said the gunmen had shot dead at least 20 people on the first day of the siege.
They killed those who had been wounded during the invasion of the school and also killed any men who tried to resist them, she said.
"Some of the wounded were taken out of the gym and finished off right in the corridor," the former hostage added.
Jesus... God help us.
I hope the Dems are paying close attention to this massacre. God Bless those Russians.
I have been constantly praying for those victims of these barbaric terrorists. I can't imagine anyone committing such unspeakable horrors against innocent children.
Fellow hostage Zalina Dzandarova, 27, said two women suicide bombers had blown themselves up in a corridor of the school on the first day of the siege, killing some male hostages. "The men terrorists told us afterwards that their sisters had conquered," she said.
These are truly some sick demented people.
Mr. Putin, have NO mercy!
The BBC are cowards!
You know the demoncrats are paying attention and probably most are cheering for these muslims. God help the Russians and our nation to fight off these murderous scum. I am amazed at the blackout from the media re. this heinous crime. Where is the outrage for these terrorist? No mention that this is terrorism. We should sue our media - we the people own the broadcast frequencies - if they are not going to report the truth then they dont deserve it. Of course Bush and especially McCain wouldnt go for that. Want to make sure that we look like compassionate conservatives dont you know.
Unfortunately, they won't encounter much resistanace in schools since guns are banned there (except for one or two states, I beleive), and everyone is unarmed.
The most interesting this here is there is not a school in American that could withstand such an attack. If they can get their people up to the school doors, there's no reason at all the same thing won't happen here.
*The boy said that the captors had opened fire on the escaping hostages...
*Rita Gadzhinova, a physics teacher, was freed by the gang on Thursday along with her three-year-old daughter, Madina, but was not allowed to take out her other two daughters, aged 11 and 14...
*The attackers herded their captives into the gym where they planted two big bombs in the two basketball baskets and laid cables leading to other, smaller charges across the floor...
*men among the hostages were periodically put up against windows as human shields...
*"The youngest children...were marched to the toilet and if the toddlers started to cry the fighters would fire in the air and shout for them to keep quiet."...
two women suicide bombers had blown themselves up in a corridor of the school on the first day of the siege, killing some male hostages...
*They killed those who had been wounded during the invasion of the school and also killed any men who tried to resist them...
*"Some of the wounded were taken out of the gym and finished off right in the corridor,"
These should become the new Republican talking points and repeated often until the Election.
I am mistified how any 'religion' can produce such evil!
But I'm sure Michael Moore will be able to console us that the the Chechen terrorists are "minutemen" and "freedom fighters" who deserve our support.
15 or so of these guys in a panel van could pull up to a school and be inside before anyone knew what was happening. Probability is it will happen in an area of the US where you have a large Muslim population that can provide logistical support and cover in the planning stages. It might not be as catastrophic as 911, but it would be devastating and heartwrenching.
"But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!"
May God bring some comfort to the Russian people, and may Putin get serious about the war on terror.
I think there is no reason why this couldn't happen here.
I teach an evening adult education class at a local high school. A few weeks after 9/11, I arrived for class, only to find that all the doors of the school except the main entrance were locked, and the parking lot in front of the main entrance was closed. All the doors of the school had previously been unlocked for the adult classes and other school activities, and the front lot had always been available. I asked the head teacher what was going on, and she told me that during the previous class, a suspicious-looking man was found inside the school videotaping the corridors. When he was asked what he was doing, he fled. Thus, the tighter security.
Thank God nothing ever became of this, but the Russian situation surely brought this all back to me. That, and the fact that my four-year-old son is starting pre-school today.
I expect massive retaliation, by the people, soon....
"militants", "insurgents", why can they call it like it is.
Mudering Arab muslim religious fanatics!
Detroit area would be one of those places.
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