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Russia Hostage Death Toll Said to Top 200
My Way, AP ^ | Sep 3, 4:37 PM (ET) | MIKE ECKEL

Posted on 09/03/2004 1:54:33 PM PDT by Nachum

BESLAN, Russia (AP) - Commandos stormed a school Friday in southern Russia and overcame separatist rebels holding hundreds of hostages as crying children, some naked and covered in blood, fled the building through explosions and gunfire. Health officials said more than 200 people died, the Interfax news agency reported.

Ninety-five victims were identified - many of them children whose shattered, bloodied bodies were placed on lines of stretchers - and Interfax quoted unnamed sources in the regional Health Ministry as saying more than 200 people were killed by fire from the militants or died from their wounds.

Hundreds of hostages survived the crisis, which in targeting children on the first day of classes crossed a boundary and amounted to a significant escalation in the decade-old Russian-Chechen conflict. More than 700 others were injured, officials said.

World governments angrily condemned the school seizure. U.S. President George W. Bush on Friday called it "another grim reminder of the length to which terrorists will go to threaten this civilized world."

Russian authorities insisted that the militants initiated Friday's violence as emergency teams entered the school, with the hostage-takers' permission, to collect the bodies of several men who had been executed earlier. It was not clear where the tragic end to the siege would leave President Vladimir Putin's tough policy on Chechnya, which to date had enjoyed broad support despite the heavy toll rebel violence has taken in recent years.

An explosives expert told NTV television that the commandos charged into the building after bombs - hung in basketball hoops by the hostage-takers - exploded. A sobbing young girl who escaped the school told NTV that a suicide bomber blew herself up in the gym where children were kept captive.

Twenty militants were killed in more than 10 hours of gunfights with security forces, 10 of them Arabs, Valery Andreyev, the region's Federal Security Service chief, said in televised comments. Putin's adviser on Chechnya, Aslanbek Aslakhanov, also said a number of the dead militants were Arab mercenaries.

After trading fire with militants holed up in the basement of a school annex, officials said the fighting was over, but that four militants remained at large. Three suspected hostage-takers were arrested trying to escape wearing civilian dress, Channel One TV reported, and Ekho Moskvy radio said a suspected female hostage-taker was detained when she approached an area hospital wearing a white robe.

The Arab presence among the attackers would bolster Putin's case that the Russian campaign in neighboring Chechnya, where mostly Muslim separatists have been fighting Russian forces in a brutal war for most of the past decade, is part of the war on international terrorism.

Late Friday, the ITAR-Tass new agency cited unspecified security sources as saying al-Qaida financed the attack on the school, and that Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev masterminded the raid. The report also said an alleged al-Qaida operative, Abu Omar as-Saif, coordinated the financing of the attack.

Regional President Alexander Dzasokhov said Friday that the hostage-takers had demanded that Russian troops leave Chechnya - the first clear indication of their demands and of a direct link between the attack on the school and the ongoing war in the neighboring region.

Officials at the crisis headquarters said 95 victims had been identified. Emergency Situations Ministry officials said 704 people were hospitalized, including 259 children. Many were badly burned.

Aslakhanov told Interfax the death toll could be "much more" than 150, and said in televised comments that the militants claimed they initially seized some 1,200 hostages, most of them children - far more than earlier estimates of 350.

The militants seized the school in North Ossetia on Wednesday, a day after a suicide bomb blast outside a Moscow subway station killed at least nine people, and just over a week after two Russian passenger jets crashed nearly simultaneously after what authorities believed were explosions on board triggered by suicide bombers, possibly Chechen women.

A hostage who escaped told Associated Press Television News that the militants numbered 28, including women in camouflage. The hostage, who identified himself only as Teimuraz, said the militants began wiring the school with explosives as soon as they took control Wednesday.

The commandos stormed the school on the third day of the crisis, moving in after about 30 women and children broke out of the building, some bloodied and screaming, after the explosions.

Russian officials said the violence came when - under an agreement reached Friday morning - emergency workers entered the school to retrieve the bodies of hostages who had been killed. A local legislator, Azamat Kadykov, had told the hostages' relatives that 20 adult men had been executed.

Andreyev said there were two large explosions, and people started running. He said militants fired at fleeing hostages, and security forces opened return fire, along with civilian residents of the town who had armed themselves. The police sapper, speaking on NTV television, said bombs hanging from basketball hoops exploded.

The bomb expert said the gym had also been rigged with explosives packed in plastic bottles strung up around the room on a cord and stuffed with metal objects.

Women escaping the building were seen fainting and others, some covered in blood, were carried away on stretchers. Many children - parched, hungry and only partly clothed because of the stifling heat in the gym - ran out screaming and begging for water.

"They didn't let me go to the toilet for three days, not once. They never let me drink or go to the toilet," Teimuraz, the escaped hostage, told APTN.

Two emergency services workers were killed and three wounded during the chaos, Interfax reported.

Interfax said the school's roof collapsed, possibly from the explosives. The militants had reportedly threatened to blow up the building if authorities used force. Andreyev and Aslakhanov said there had been no plans to storm the school and that authorities had pinned hopes on negotiations.

Putin had said Thursday that everything possible would be done to end the "horrible" crisis and save the lives of the children and other hostages in this town of 35,000 people.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; News/Current Events; Russia; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: 200; cair; cairsilentonchechnya; caucasus; death; deathtoll; hostage; muslims; nocaircondemnation; ossetia; russia; said; silenceissupport; silenceofcair; toll; totop; whereiscair
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Twenty militants were killed in more than 10 hours of gunfights with security forces, 10 of them Arabs
1 posted on 09/03/2004 1:54:35 PM PDT by Nachum
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To: Nachum

I have one word of advice for the Chechens. "Run"


2 posted on 09/03/2004 1:56:37 PM PDT by cripplecreek (The economy won't matter if you're dead.)
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To: hchutch

Crappy deal.

I grieve for the families.


3 posted on 09/03/2004 1:57:13 PM PDT by El Sordo
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To: Nachum

wow.


4 posted on 09/03/2004 1:57:26 PM PDT by Dog
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To: Nachum

Wonder how long before the entire civilized world is fed up with the muslims.


5 posted on 09/03/2004 1:57:48 PM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: Nachum
Speechless and more committed than ever to the liquidation of Islamikazis.

LBT

-=-=-
6 posted on 09/03/2004 1:58:28 PM PDT by LiberalBassTurds (Al Qaeda needs to know we are fluent in the "dialogue of bullets.")
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To: Nachum
A local legislator, Azamat Kadykov, had told the hostages' relatives that 20 adult men had been executed.

A point to ponder, similar to the one made by the folks who jumped the 9/11 hijackers. There isn't any real point in passivity and obedience in the face of this sort of animal; you're going to die anyway so you might just as well take one of the bastards with you.

7 posted on 09/03/2004 2:05:41 PM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: Nachum

Anyone want to claim Islam is a legitmate religion?

A billion people can be wrong.


8 posted on 09/03/2004 2:07:10 PM PDT by eno_ (Freedom Lite, it's almost worth defending.)
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To: Nachum

When not if, it happens here, even on a smaller scale - many mosques will be destroyed within 24 hours.


9 posted on 09/03/2004 2:08:35 PM PDT by ikka
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To: cripplecreek

"I have one word of advice for the Chechens. "Run""

Heh. How about "Duck!", "Buh-bye."


10 posted on 09/03/2004 2:10:05 PM PDT by Michael Goldsberry (Which part of "Don't Mess With Texas" didn't you get?)
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To: eno_

depends on what the meaning of "is" is.


11 posted on 09/03/2004 2:10:18 PM PDT by RolandBurnam
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Comment #12 Removed by Moderator

To: Nachum
i knew this would happen

the terrorist got exactly what they wanted..a massacre of children/hostages

13 posted on 09/03/2004 2:11:35 PM PDT by MetalHeadConservative35 (Dane Says : If you do not know HTML you are a liberal)
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To: Nachum
4 letters

I C B M

14 posted on 09/03/2004 2:12:15 PM PDT by Mr. Mojo
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To: Nachum

"muslim" appears only once in the entire article accoridng to my ctrl-f. i'm frankly surprised it showed up at all... even though it was nearly at the end of the article...


15 posted on 09/03/2004 2:14:05 PM PDT by Chilldoubt
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To: Nachum
10 of them Arabs

Gee, what a surprise. You mean they weren't all just Chechen "freedom fighters?"

16 posted on 09/03/2004 2:14:14 PM PDT by Mr. Mojo
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To: MetalHeadConservative35

Those kids were essentially dead the moment they were taken captive.


17 posted on 09/03/2004 2:15:29 PM PDT by Mr. Mojo
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To: Happy2BMe

Ping


18 posted on 09/03/2004 2:16:11 PM PDT by B4Ranch (You can evade reality, but you cannot evade the consequences of evading reality - Ayn Rand)
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To: Eric in the Ozarks
Wonder how long before the entire civilized world is fed up with the muslims.

Perhaps, when it starts happening in schools in France and Germany?

I think the Russians are going to come in out of the cold over this. They didn't support us and now they are having their 9-11 with the two airliners and now this...women and children? I think the Russians are now fed up and awake... But, that is only my opinion.

I hope Bush is reelected because if Kerry is in office, this kind of thing could start happening right here in our country. Al Qaeda has to have taken a lesson from the success (or effectiveness) of this horrible action.

19 posted on 09/03/2004 2:16:37 PM PDT by KriegerGeist (Lifetime membership of the "Radical-Right-Wing-Kook-Factor")
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To: Chilldoubt
"muslim" appears only once in the entire article accoridng to my ctrl-f. i'm frankly surprised it showed up at all...

And this article is an exception.

Chechen rebels or terrorists, or part of the Russian war with Chechnya. That is how it is described.

20 posted on 09/03/2004 2:17:09 PM PDT by tallhappy (Juntos Podemos!)
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To: Nachum

21 posted on 09/03/2004 2:18:31 PM PDT by SkyPilot
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To: tallhappy

The word "terrorist" doesn't appear in the Reuters Style Book.


22 posted on 09/03/2004 2:19:08 PM PDT by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: Nachum

Where were the mullahs and the imams in condemning this atrocity while it was ongoing and demanding the release of these innocents? Where were the Muslim "holy men" when children were denied food and water for 52 hours, were made to drink their own urine, were denied their medicines, had to watch while their dads were executed? All I heard was the sound of silence, which sounds an awful lot like either cowardice or even tacit support.


23 posted on 09/03/2004 2:20:35 PM PDT by laconic
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To: Mr. Mojo
sadly,

why do we even negotiate with these animals? why cant we just go general sherman and march through every middle eastern country destroying everything?

there animals..there not even human..so why even feel guilty about doing the deed?

24 posted on 09/03/2004 2:21:37 PM PDT by MetalHeadConservative35 (Dane Says : If you do not know HTML you are a liberal)
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To: Nachum

This article I can live with.

Already today I have heard some "talking heads" opining that the Russian Security Forces "botched" this hostage crisis.

It truly enrages me. Just like the "It's all America's fault" crowd when it comes to the war on terrorism.

I am sure that the Russian Forces did the best they possibly could trying to bring an end to this barbaric, and amoral assault on the children, and families at the school, and in trying to preserve the lives of as many of the hostages as they could.

Note to talking heads: The Russians didn't strap bombs to themselves and go into an elementary school reeking violence and destruction on little children. The Terrorists did.


25 posted on 09/03/2004 2:21:53 PM PDT by sockmonkey
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To: Nachum
Oh, no, Nachum, this double standard is unbelievable.

If 17 Christians or Jews suddenly went wild and held over a 1000 Muslim school children hostage, the world media would run out of ink condemning it. Al-Jezarra would have screaming fits on the air. But have you heard of even one Muslim group that has condemned this action by Muslim terrorists? Is the world press really interested?

No, let's get back to the crucial debate about Israel tearing down their protective wall which was built so their children can't be hurt so often by Muslim terrorists...

26 posted on 09/03/2004 2:24:51 PM PDT by xJones
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To: cripplecreek
I have one word of advice for the Chechens. "Run"

I have a word for them as well, though not one of advice. And running won't help them.

OMOH


27 posted on 09/03/2004 2:25:33 PM PDT by archy (The darkness will come. It will find you,and it will scare you like you've never been scared before.)
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To: Nachum
WHERE THE HELL IS THE CONDEMNATION FROM C.A.I.R.???
28 posted on 09/03/2004 2:25:46 PM PDT by reagan_fanatic (The theory of evolution is just that - a theory.)
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To: Nachum
We express our deepest condolences and call for an independent transparent international investigation

Chechen Republic of Ichkeria
Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Friday, 03 September 2004

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs expresses our deepest condolences to the relatives and friends of all victims of the hostage taking in Beslan. The Chechen nation, having lost 25 % of its population at the hands of the Russian state policy of genocide during the last 10 years, know very well the pain of loosing the loved ones, the horrors of monstrous brutality against innocent defenceless people, children, women and men. There is no a single Chechen whose relatives and friends have not been murdered, tortured or raped by the Russian troops and security services since December 1994.

As the past experience tells us that Russian security services often are involved in planning, executing or manipulating various terrorist attacks on the territory of Russia, including the apartment bombings in Moscow in 1999 and the hostage taking in the Moscow theatre in 2002, we call upon all Russian citizens to demand from the Russian government to agree to an independent and transparent international investigation of this hostage taking in Beslan. We strongly believe that the Chechens, Russians and the international community has the right to know what actually has happened and who really were the hostage takers and the organisers of this terrorist act, and we hope that this call will not go unanswered.

Press Office
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
www.chechnya-mfa.info
Press Office of Chechen MFA

So Russian security services took their own kids hostage and shot them, took their own theater hostage and gassed them, and staged all the Moscow bombings to boot? Tell me another story, Chechens and al Qaeda. There's not a rock big enough or a hole deep enough for you to hide in now.

29 posted on 09/03/2004 2:27:37 PM PDT by Sender (I didn't leave cookays. I left him cheeese.)
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To: Nachum

Russians are getting up near 911 numbers. Adding up all the dead bodies over the last few yrs.


30 posted on 09/03/2004 2:28:15 PM PDT by mlbford2 ("sycophantic kerry koolaid sucker" -- S. Hannity)
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To: SkyPilot

31 posted on 09/03/2004 2:28:48 PM PDT by archy (The darkness will come. It will find you,and it will scare you like you've never been scared before.)
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The Russians should exterminate the Chechnyan populace. They are all guilty.

Such a move would send a strong message to Muslims all over.


32 posted on 09/03/2004 2:31:18 PM PDT by Garuda82
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To: Mr. Mojo
Twenty militants were killed in more than 10 hours of gunfights with security forces, 10 of them Arabs.

If you read the sentence the way it was written, the REAL problem here is that the Russians are putting Arabs in their security forces. Terrible idea.

Or, more likely I think, this is just another misplaced modifier, as employed by yet another illiterate journalist.

33 posted on 09/03/2004 2:32:37 PM PDT by SAJ (Have a very detailed look at writing CLV or CLX puts, 3.00-6.00 OOM (more for the X, naturally).)
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To: Sender

Sounds like the Arabs blaming the Jews for everything.

That is reprehensible.


34 posted on 09/03/2004 2:32:59 PM PDT by Jaded ((Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society. - Mark Twain))
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To: Nachum
Prayers for all the victims. The barbarity and cruelity of these muslim savages knows no bounds. The war on terror is indeed international.

Why these reporters fail to mention that North Ossentia is primarily Christian bothers me also. I consider it helpful info in understanding the situation more completely.

35 posted on 09/03/2004 2:34:51 PM PDT by TotusTuus
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To: SAJ
Twenty militants were killed in more than 10 hours of gunfights with security forces, 10 of them Arabs.

Seems to me the sentence should read:

In more than 10 hours of gunfights with security forces, twenty militants were killed, 10 of them Arabs.

36 posted on 09/03/2004 2:36:17 PM PDT by Jaded ((Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society. - Mark Twain))
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To: Nachum
The Arab presence among the attackers would bolster Putin's case that the Russian campaign in neighboring Chechnya, where mostly Muslim separatists have been fighting Russian forces in a brutal war for most of the past decade, is part of the war on international terrorism.

Buried in the article but at least they are getting closer to calling them what they are - muslim terrorists'.

37 posted on 09/03/2004 2:37:06 PM PDT by ET(end tyranny)
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To: Nachum
He said militants fired at fleeing hostages, and security forces opened return fire, along with civilian residents of the town who had armed themselves.

"The regulars are coming, The regulars are coming"

Definition of a militia.

38 posted on 09/03/2004 2:40:07 PM PDT by TotusTuus (2nd Amendment exists for a reason)
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To: 1bigdictator; 1st-P-In-The-Pod; 2sheep; 7.62 x 51mm; A Jovial Cad; a_witness; adam_az; af_vet_rr; ..
FRmail me to be added or removed from this Judaic/pro-Israel ping list.

WARNING: This is a high volume ping list

39 posted on 09/03/2004 2:41:08 PM PDT by Alouette (Pray for the Children of Russia, Israel and the USA)
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To: Nachum

Fortunately, Russia is not as bound by the rules of political correctness as we were after 9/11. I hope they take all reasonable measures to make sure this never happens again. Making sure there are no Chechens to make it happen again would be IMO reasonable.


40 posted on 09/03/2004 2:45:07 PM PDT by Right Wing Professor (www.swiftvets.com: where the truth lives on, after 35 years of Kerry lies.)
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To: Nachum
I hope to goodness the Russians don't have a "multiculturalist" press to pressure them to play nice with these vermin.

But I also hope that after they deal with the terrorists they don't keep right on marching. I'm all for them defending themselves but do not want the sleeping bear aroused again. Does this make any sense?

41 posted on 09/03/2004 2:45:56 PM PDT by Zionist Conspirator (What part of "lo yihyeh lekhah 'elohim 'acherim `al panay" DON'T you understand???)
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To: Mr. Mojo

Very attrocious but true.


42 posted on 09/03/2004 2:47:20 PM PDT by TASMANIANRED (Kerry/Edwards. Between the two of them, I'd be safer with a slimy spitball.)
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To: Zionist Conspirator
I hope to goodness the Russians don't have a "multiculturalist" press to pressure them to play nice with these vermin.

Russians don't have a tradition of putting up with crap like that.

43 posted on 09/03/2004 2:49:15 PM PDT by StoneColdGOP (Nothing is Bush's fault... Nothing is Bush's fault... Nothing is Bush's fault...)
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To: Nachum
This could be a preview of a Kerry Administration...

--------------------------------
To print out and wear as a Campaign Button, go HERE. Over 3,800 hits as of 9/3! Feel free to reuse this anywhere you wish...
Donate to Swift Boat Vets for the Truth HERE.

44 posted on 09/03/2004 2:49:51 PM PDT by sonofatpatcher2 (Texas, Love & a .45-- What more could you want, campers? };^)
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To: LiberalBassTurds
Speechless and more committed than ever to the liquidation of Islamikazis.

Anyone who can watch what went down in Russia and cast a vote for John Kerry is delusional or demented. Or both.

45 posted on 09/03/2004 2:51:11 PM PDT by Euro-American Scum (A poverty-stricken middle class must be a disarmed middle class)
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To: Eric in the Ozarks

Wonder how long before the entire civilized world is fed up with the muslims.""

What is the over/under on that happening now? They are making liars out of those who claim it is a religion of "peace". More like pieces.....

John Kerry wants to fight them on a "more sensitive" basis.... SURE....that will work.



46 posted on 09/03/2004 2:52:08 PM PDT by ridesthemiles (ridesthemiles)
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To: laconic
Where were the mullahs and the imams in condemning this atrocity while it was ongoing and demanding the release of these innocents? Where were the Muslim "holy men" when children were denied food and water for 52 hours, were made to drink their own urine, were denied their medicines, had to watch while their dads were executed?

They were too busy preparing for 911 celebrations. The anniversary is coming up soon, and they are slavering to rejoice over the brutal murder of all those innocent infidels. The religion of peace has its priorities, ya know.
47 posted on 09/03/2004 2:53:05 PM PDT by broadsword (Let's respect "holy" Muslim sites like they respected those giant Buddhist statues in Afghanistan!)
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To: broadsword

yes, Allah is pleased.


48 posted on 09/03/2004 2:54:47 PM PDT by rageaholic
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To: Zionist Conspirator
The Russians are not PC-whipped.
49 posted on 09/03/2004 2:56:57 PM PDT by broadsword (Let's respect "holy" Muslim sites like they respected those giant Buddhist statues in Afghanistan!)
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To: Sender
Re the expression of Chechen "condolence" in your post 29: that is one of the most smarmy pieces of blaming the victims and excusing the criminals that I have ever read. This is the kind of "condolences" the US used to get during the Cold War when something terrible happened to our people. It's also identical to the propraganda trotted out as "humantiarian condolences" to the Israelis when stuff like this happens to them. (As a matter of fact, the "libertarians" over at Liberty Forum regularly claim that terrorist attacks on Israelis is actually perpetrated by the IDF on orders from Sharon. Great minds think alike, don't they?)

I hope the Russians will now question their decades-long policy of supporting the Arab/moslem world against the US and Israel.

May these monsters pay for what they have done, and may G-d bless and protect the Russian people and nation not only from islam, but from any resurgence of Communism or any other G-dless totalitarian ideology.

50 posted on 09/03/2004 2:56:58 PM PDT by Zionist Conspirator (What part of "lo yihyeh lekhah 'elohim 'acherim `al panay" DON'T you understand???)
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