Russian siege over
It looks like the Russian school siege is over.
Commandos stormed the Russian siege school today as near naked children fled the building amid explosions and gunfire.
In less than an hour the special forces claimed to have full control of the school which had been seized by armed men and women on Wednesday.
But the rescue came at a cost:
At least five children were said to have been killed and 180 injured and fighting was still going on at the school almost three hours later.
However, officials said that all the captives had been evacuated.
Attack and transport helicopters hovered over the building after a series of explosions appeared to bring down the school roof where the more than 1,000 hostages were being held.
Officials said they had not planned to storm the school today but events were dictated by circumstances.
Russian news agencies said the attack began when soldiers attempted to remove the bodies of people who were killed outside the school in the trouble Caucasus region when suicide gunmen took it over on Wednesday.
The presumed Chechen gunmen and women inside the school then opened fire on the soldiers.
Children, most in their underwear, began fleeing the building – some covered in blood. Some of the gunmen mingled with them in an attempt to escape.
Ambulance rushed the injured away from the scene and 180 children and 70 adults were taken to hospitals.
Commandos blew a hole in the school wall to aid the hostages escape
After an hour the Russian military claimed it had control of the school but major gun battles still raged in Beslan, the North Ossetian town of 30,000 people near the Chechnya border.
Russian TV said five of the gunmen or women had been killed and forces were seeking two gunwomen, dressed in white, who had fled the school.
Eleven other gunmen, who had threatened to commit suicide rather that surrender the school, were also said to be trying to escape from the town.
Some made it to a house where they were surrounded by Russian troops. Tank fire could be heard from the scene.
Hopefully none of the terrorist scum will escape.
Sadly, the loss of innocent life and the injuries to others occurred.
This is a terrible event. Another indication that terrorism is the enemy of all.