It has been a year to the day since a group of pro-Chechen terrorists took over a school in North Ossettia leading to a shootout that left more than 300 people dead, more than half of them were children.On Friday, President Vladimir Putin is due to meet bereaved mothers who are expected to tell him that he is to blame for the deaths. They claim there has been an attempt at covering up official incompetence which made the situation worse. No public report has ever been published on the tragedy despite promises to do so by officials. They have rejected claims by Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev, who orchestrated the attack, that Russian security forces allowed his fighters to reach Beslan as part of an ambush that went wrong. The siege lasted three days, after which Russian troops intervened in what was widely described as a bungled assault. Putin came under strong domestic and international criticism for his handling of the affair. Only one surviving hostage-taker has gone on trial.
Beslan school siege remembered one year on