Skip to comments.Putin sees Russian tragedy (reports of what the Islamboulis did to children-blood boiling)
Posted on 09/03/2004 11:15:02 PM PDT by Destro
Putin sees Russian tragedy
September 4, 2004 - 2:19PM
Russian President Vladimir Putin has visited the town where commandos stormed a school in which militants were holding hundreds hostage in a chaotic battle that left at least 95 people dead.
"All Russia grieves with you," Putin said during a meeting with local officials in Beslan in the North Ossetia region, broadcast on government television.
He said targeting children made the hostage crisis worse than other acts of terrorism: "Even alongside the most cruel attacks of the past this terrorist act occupies a special place because it was aimed at children."
He said he had ordered the region's borders closed while officials search for everyone connected with the attack.
Putin arrived with smoke still rising from the shattered school, only hours after the last scattered shooting died away.
On Friday, commandos stormed the building and battled militants as crying children, some naked and covered with blood, managed to flee through explosions and gunfire.
They had endured more than two days during which the hostage takers herded them into the school gym, denied them food and water and threatened to kill them.
Other children lay dead on stretchers lined up outside.
Officials said they had identified 95 of the dead. The Interfax news agency, citing unidentified officials, said the toll was over 200.
The attack follows a suicide bomb attack outside a Moscow subway station Tuesday that killed eight people, and last week's near-simultaneous crash of two Russian jetliners last week after what officials believe were explosions on board.
Putin warned against letting the latest attack in North Ossetia stir up tensions in the multi-ethnic North Caucasus region.
"One of the goals of the terrorist was to sow ethnic enmity and blow up the North Caucasus," Putin said.
"Anyone who gives in to such a provocation will be viewed by us as abetting terrorism," he said.
During a hospital visit, a sombre Putin saw several of the victims, stopping to stroke the head of one injured child.
Russian authorities said the bloody end to the standoff came after explosions apparently set off by the militants - possibly by accident - as emergency workers were entering the school to collect the bodies of slain hostages.
As hostages took their chance to flee, the militants opened fire on them, and security forces - along with town residents who had brought their own weapons - opened covering fire to help the hostages escape.
Commandos stormed into the building and secured it, then chased fleeing militants in the town, with shooting lasting for 10 hours.
An explosives expert told NTV television that the hostage takers, themselves strapped with explosives, hung bombs from basketball hoops in the gym and set other explosive devices in the building. Bomb experts are examining the building.
The Federal Security Service chief in North Ossetia, Valery Andreyev, said that 10 militants killed in gunfights with security forces were from Arab countries, and Putin's adviser on Chechnya, Aslanbek Aslakhanov, said nine were "Arab mercenaries."
An Arab presence among the attackers would help Putin argue that the Russian campaign in neighbouring 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 - seen by Putin's critics as an attempt to deflect human rights criticism.
The region's governor, Alexander Dzasokhov, said that the militants had demanded that Russian troops leave Chechnya - the first solid indication that the attack was connected to the rebellion.
The hostage crisis ended in chaos as fleeing hostages, many of them injured, streamed from the building into the surrounding area and parents searched frantically for their children. Ambulances couldn't carry all the injured and private cars were pressed into service.
Alla Gadieyeva, a 24-year-old hostage who was seized with her son and mother - all three were among the survivors - said the captors laughed when she asked them for water for her mother.
"When children began to faint, they laughed," Gadieyeva said. "They were totally indifferent."
Two emergency services workers were killed and three wounded during the chaos, Interfax reported. Eighteen wounded commandos were being treated in a Defence Ministry hospital in the town of Vladikavkaz, the news agency reported, most of them with bullet wounds.
The militants had reportedly threatened to blow up the building if authorities used force. Russian officials stressed that they had not planned to storm the school.
Intermittent negotiations led to the freeing of about 26 women and children on Thursday, and Russian officials and others had been in on-and-off contacts with the hostage-takers, but with few signs of progress toward a resolution.
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.
The gymnasium's roof collapsed during the assault, possibly because of the explosions, and the sprawling red-brick school was left a smoking ruin.
The militants had broken most of the windows early in the standoff in what may have been an effort to keep authorities from using knockout gas against them.
Two major hostage-taking raids by Chechen rebels outside the war-torn region in the past decade provoked Russian rescue operations that led to many deaths.
The seizure of a Moscow theatre in 2002 ended after a knockout gas was pumped into the building, debilitating the captors but causing almost all of the 129 hostage deaths.
In 1995 - during the first of two wars in Chechnya in the past decade - rebels led by guerrilla commander Shamil Basayev seized a hospital in the southern Russian city of Budyonnovsk, taking some 2,000 people hostage. The six-day standoff ended with a fierce Russian assault, and some 100 people died.
© 2004 AP
still want to give the terrorists in Iran nukes, Putty?
Will THIS loosen the tongues of the Islamic world?
This is an example of what the writings that discriminate against non-Muslims in Islamic texts will always lead to. Time to change the legal status of these writings and 'teachings' based on them to hate speech - they have nothing at all to do with religion.
Putin's answer? Mr. Bush are you still allowing Pakistan to have actuall nuclear arms - the same Pakistan that founded the Taliban and helped al-Qaeda and fought my allies (which you Americans used to overthrow your Paki allies' Taliban) the Northern Alliance?
Arabs, Al Qaeda sponsored.
The idiots who say they war in Iraq have some explaining to do - why and how Chechen snipers ended up on al-Sadr's payrols; why and how the 19 hijackers included more than a dozen who originally wanted to fight for Al Qaeda in Chechnya but then got 'assigned' the 9/11 mission; why and how if Iraq is not part of the war on terror, a Saudi militant with a car bomb was caught in Mosul by Iraqi police; why and how 20 yemeni fighters were killed by the American bombs we are dropping in Fallujah (the ones Falujah doctors insist only land on women and children, even when they are walking in formation); etc.
We are killing terrorists in Fallujah who would otherwise be creating mayhem somewhere else.
Post Saddam - they all came into Iraq to wage jihad.
"The idiots who say they war in Iraq "
ahem meant to say
"The idiots who say the war in Iraq has nothing to do with war on terror"
way past bedtime . gnite.
"Among the 20 terrorists killed, there are 10 citizens of the Arab world," Valery Andreyev, the top regional security official, said on national television. "...from the Daily Star: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp? edition_id=10&categ_id=2&article_id=8048
The Religion of Peace at it again, showing their more sensitive side. I just cannot believe anyone would support madmen like these.
My heart broke watching those poor little children half naked, blood covered running for their lives.
Please send your prayers and support: email@example.com
It is too late to stop the Pakistani nukes without war. Iran can still be stopped. THAT is the correct answer. Stupid mistakes of the past are no excuse for stupid mistakes of the future.
And arming any Islamic country with nuclear technology is stupid, regardless of who does it. When Musharraf is eventually overthrown or assassinated, we'll have a serious problem on our hands and it will be everybody's problem then.
... and they would have been in Chechnya, or Afghanistan, or Sudan ... or Europe ... or USA, if not Iraq.
As Tommy Franks said, I'd rather fight them there then here.... but my point is that time and time again, events put the lie to bed that these events are 'not connected'.
The Global Jihadist Terrorist networks are connected.
for sure Iraq is connected now.
My prayers are with these Russians and their families... and their country. I hope they see the truth before the cost of not seeing becomes too horrific. What could be worse than having this happen to your children??? (*Maybe having a national media that doesn't cover it like the NEWS it is. Pushing it under, oh say, an impeached President's health problems... all day l-o-n-g... every detail.)
When the Romans were unable to reach an accomodation with an enemy, and had found the enemy so intractable as to be incapable of keeping a peace agreement, they would, after conquering, kill every living thing in the enemy's territory: men, women, children, dogs, horses - everything.
The Romans did not do this out of savagery, but because they had determined over the course of hundreds of years that such measures were the only effective means of causing barbarians to fear Rome enough that they would stop committing depradations on the fringes of the Empire.
Where are the comparisons to "Jengis Khan" now?
The Russian word for "Wahhabi" is wahkhabit.
Well, I'd say it's open wahkhabit season in North Ossetia after what these monsters did today.
Iraq was connected in 1995 when Bin laden met with the head of Iraqi intelligence.
Iraq was connected in 1998 when Saddam offered safe haven to Bin laden.
Iraq was connected in 2001 when Saddam's IIS through Abu Wael set up Ansar al-Islam as an al qaeda 'affiliate' terror group.
And Iraq's been connected for decades by supporting Abu Nidal, and training terrorists for years, and funding suicide bomber families.
The difference now is that Iraq has gone from being a safe haven and ally to terror groups to being a target for them.
A new Russia obviously ....I wonder what their gun laws are.
Pakistan obtained their nuclear weapons in 1972, I don't think Bush allows them to have them.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.