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Beslan tragedy: skies white with grief

Published time: September 03, 2011 07:14
Edited time: September 03, 2011 14:12

Beslan residents present at the commemorative events in school No.1 where six years ago, on September 1, 2004, terrorists took hostage with a resultant death toll of 334 people, including 186 children (RIA Novosti / Vladimir Ivanov)

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More than 330 baloons have been released into the skies above the town of Beslan in the republic of North Ossetia on Saturday - one for each of the victims of Russia's deadliest terrorist attack.

­Saturday marks the third day of mourning in the small Russian town of Beslan.

It began with a memorial service in the yard of the ruined school where over 1,000 people were held for three days by militants from the volatile North Caucasus region without food and water and in constant fear. Most of them were children. Now, dozens of people are arriving to lay flowers and light candles.  

At 13:05 Moscow time, at the precise moment when explosions rocked the school and its hostages seven years ago, a church bell rang twice, followed by a minute’s silence to commemorate the fatal events.       

Over 330 balloons have been released into the sky – one for each and every victim.

Memorial services continue at the cemetery dedicated to the victims and named City of Angels. A sculpture composition with the parallel title, Kind Angel of the World, was unveiled there on Friday.

The graveyard’s key-keeper is the father of one of the victims – an 11-year old girl. When she was killed, he could not cope with the loss. He moved to the cemetery and now takes care of it. 

The victims have also been commemorated in Moscow with flowers being laid at a monument to the Beslan tragedy in the center of the capital.

This tragedy ruined hundreds of lives. The Beslan school siege remains the deadliest terrorist attack ever to have taken place in Russia. 

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