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The Beslan massacre

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The Beslan massacre

The Beslan school hostage crisis (also referred to as the Beslan school siege or Beslan massacre) of early September 2004 lasted three days and involved the capture of over 1,100 people as hostages (including 777 children), ending with the death of over 380 people. The crisis began when a group of armed Islamic separatist militants, mostly Ingush and Chechen Muslims, occupied School Number One (SNO) in the town of Beslan, North Ossetia (an autonomous republic in the North Caucasus region of the Russian Federation) on 1 September 2004. The hostage-takers were the Riyadus-Salikhin Battalion, sent by the Muslim Chechen separatist warlord Shamil Basayev, who demanded recognition of the independence of Chechnya at the UN and Russian withdrawal from Chechnya. On the third day of the standoff, Russian security forces entered the building with the use of tanks, incendiary rockets and other heavy weapons. At least 334 hostages were killed as a result of the crisis, including 186 children, with a significant number of people injured and reported missing.
      
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     "If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them. "

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