On this day five years ago terrorists took hundreds of parents and pupils hostage at a school in Beslan in Russia’s North Ossetian province.
When the bloody siege ended 333 people had been killed, more than half of them children. The ruins of the school’s sports hall remain – a monument to the victims who died in an explosion. Five years on, many angry families believe authorities are unwilling to investigate the attack as they’re still waiting for the prosecutors inquiry to reach its conclusion. Ella Kesayeva, who heads a victims’ support group says the guilty ones have not been punished. “Beslan has not been a turning point after which terrorism became weaker, nothing like that. It was calm for a while but unfortunately it’s on the rise again,” she says. The siege ended after three days when security forces stormed the building. Hundreds died in the ensuing gunbattle. In the year after, Nurpashi Kulayev, the only hostage taker caught alive, was jailed for life. Other terrorists are thought to have escaped.