Make no mistake, the “rebels” from Chechnya are aligned with other Islamic terrorist organizations, including al Quada.
BESLAN, Russia (AP) – Commandos stormed a school Friday in southern Russia and battled separatist rebels holding hundreds of hostages, as crying children, some naked and covered in blood, fled through explosions and gunfire. More than 100 bodies were reportedly found in the gymnasium where hostages had been held.
The extent of the casualties was not immediately known. The militants, who had been demanding independence for nearby Chechnya, had been keeping up to 1,500 hostages – mostly women and children – in the sweltering gymnasium for more than two days.
Regional emergency officials said at least 100 people were killed. A cameraman for the British network ITN reported seeing around 100 bodies in the gym. The correspondent for Russia’s Interfax news agency reported that there were dozens of bodies in the school, including about 100 in the gym, and that some were killed when the building’s roof collapsed from an explosion before the main assault began.
Other casualties were reported when militants opened fire on hostages as they fled the building and in fighting that went on for several hours afterward. Russian forces killed 10 of the hostage-takers, Interfax reported. The regional health minister reported that 409 people were wounded, including at least 218 children.Full coverage at The Command Post.