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Relatives Want Europe To Probe Beslan Tragedy

30 November 2005 -- Relatives of victims of last year's Beslan hostage tragedy are urging the European Union and the European Parliament to set up their own inquiry into the event.

The call was made today by the Voice of Beslan support group in North Ossetia.

On 1 September 2004, militants linked to the Chechen separatist movement took more than 1,000 people hostage in Beslan's School Number One. More than 330 children and adults were killed during the rescue operation.

Russia has blamed the bloodbath on the hostage takers. It said federal forces stormed the school after the militants detonated a bomb positioned inside the school.

However, the North Ossetian parliamentary commission investigating the tragedy has come to conclusions that contradict some aspects of the official account of events given by federal authorities.

Yesterday, Deputy Parliament Speaker Stanislav Kesayev said the commission could not say for sure the hostage takers can be held responsible for the initial blast.

(AFP)

Copyright (c) 2005. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036. www.rferl.org



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