Hostage's (Zalina) account
Zalina, spent 2 days as a hostage and survived the storm. She tells her story to a reporter from gazeta.ru, apologies if the translation is a bit awkward (I am still at work and doing this as fast as I can).
"9:10am I walked my son (5th grader)to school. Two minutes after we walked into the court yard came the terrorists. There were about 20 of them and also 2 females. They herded us inside the school through the corridor and windows. Right away they killed 12-20 men - one at a time. Then a tank arrived and killed one of the terrorists, so they put several hostages next to a window and shot them dead. They threatened to kill 10 hostages for their dead, but I only saw about 4.
There were at least a thousand people in the gym. We sat on the floor. They threatened us and were generally very nervous - specially when it got noisy. They shot in the air. They put guns to some men's temple's and threatened to kill them if there's noise. At first they gave us water and let us use the bathroom. Women with infants were put up separately. One of the terrorists was even sneaking in dry milk for a woman's son, when his cohorts weren't looking.
Terrorists were videotaping everything. They gave the tape to a negotiator to show it to Putin. At night they put up the elderly in rooms were it wasn't as hot and gave everybody blankets.
They called negotiators a lot of times, but nobody wanted to speak with them. They said that the troops will storm them like they stormed the theater in Moscow in 2002.
I cooked for them in the kitchen, and for that they gave my son water. I talked to them and they told me that they want Putin to resign or to pull out the troops from Chechnya.
The principal of the school was horrified. She called officials on the phone, but nobody wanted to speak with her.
During the night, the terrorists told us that if they loose connection with the outside, they will shoot 10 people. The connection was lost (not sure if she talking bout radio contact or what), but they didnt' shoot anybody.
Terrorists didn't even know what town they were in - in the beginning they even asked us where they were. They said that traffic cops were bribed. If they used more money for the bribes then the would have taken hostage a school in a bigger city (gazeta.ru - probably Vladikavkaz).
While I was cooking in the kitchen, one of them came in and took me to another room and told me to lay down. The woman I was working with went back to the gym and was killed with a grenade the terrorists threw when the storming began.
I did not see troops/police storm in, but I heard children shouting "Don't shoot!" and then the explosives went off. The terrorists were screaming something in their language, don't know what, probably praying to Allah."
Posted by Stan at September 3, 2004 01:32 PM
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Posted by: Struwwelpeter at September 3, 2004 07:23 PM
Stan, do you have an opinion on what needs to be done WRT the situation in Chechnya/Caucasus?
Posted by: Dave Schuler at September 3, 2004 07:48 PM
It's pretty much like Iraq over there. They are having elections, kids are going to school and people have been trying to return to normal life for a while. But terrorists keep sniping at gov't officials, chechen policemen, etc. They are trying to prevent the return to normalcy.
I don't think the "rebels" represent the Chechen people. Like I said before, the "rebels" are wahabbis and are funded from abroad. Why are there arabs amongst them? Is there a shortage of Chechens who're willing to join their ranks?
Posted by: Stan LS at September 3, 2004 08:12 PM
Why are there arabs amongst them?
Protecting their investment. Quality control.
Posted by: Dave Schuler at September 3, 2004 09:01 PM
I am apostasy on the intelligence of these arrogant satanic blood thersty terroist...our hearts from Australia are with the ppl in Russia. Cheers...from Australia.
Posted by: Graham at September 4, 2004 02:24 AM
I am distraught. I live in the UK, I have just looked at the photos and this is so sad, so awful. My deepest empathy for the poor families, for everyone involved in this appalling tragedy.
Posted by: Dawn Clarke at September 4, 2004 06:25 AM
Stan, have you seen anything in the russian press about Bayasev's Al Qaeda connections? I read at regnumcrusis that one of his former (deceased) commanders was related to three of the 9/11 hijackers, and that he trained with Al Qaeda.
Thank you for your great work here.
Posted by: jinnderella at September 4, 2004 11:47 AM
Russia has claimed the Al Qaeda connection in Chechnya long before 9/11. Also, Basayev is a wahhabi - not the traditional Islam that Chechens practice.
Here's a good article on these "freedom fighters".
Posted by: Stan LS at September 4, 2004 01:10 PM
i would like to encourage every American who has been affected by this tragedy as i have been to make a contribution to the victim's fund that hopes to raise money for each family. i called and spoke to the head of the organization and he believes this is Russia's 9/11. i found the victim's fund site through Michelle Malkin's site. my contribution is in the mail.
i hope i did not breach your comments policy but i felt compelled to speak out. thank you.
Posted by: scott holmes at September 4, 2004 01:38 PM
Scott, no policies against charities here. I added the link you provided in this post.
Posted by: Stan LS at September 4, 2004 01:54 PM
Here is reuters on Bayasev and Al Saif
Why isn't this huge news?
Posted by: jinnderella at September 4, 2004 06:36 PM
jinn, check this out.
Posted by: Stan LS at September 4, 2004 06:41 PM
I'll be interested to see what happens to those bribed traffic cops. They'll be lucky not to be killed by an angry mob.
Posted by: Xavier at September 4, 2004 08:00 PM
Stan, exxxcellent-- There seem to be plenty of trackbacks to al Qaeda. Bayasev has some trademarks too, like female suicide bombers that are widows of Chechyan fighters. They were used in the hospital situation, on the planes and in the Moscow theater. Female suicide bombers are rare elsewhere.
Posted by: jinnderella at September 4, 2004 08:03 PM
Traffic cops are bribed all over Russia. My friend is a traffic cop in Moscow, and the bribes he collects are 500%-1000% of his salary.
Posted by: Stan LS at September 4, 2004 11:13 PM
anybody have a link for a picture of bayasef and al saif?
would like to know how they look like, in case i see them out at the nearest mcdonalds.
Posted by: Millenium at September 8, 2004 01:14 PM