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They wanted to start a war


Flying_Mollusk
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The fundamentalists want want war. They cant have it unless they do something drastic. I imagine they will succeed with their goals as vengence for this incedent will probably no no bounds of who is affected.

 

Suspect: We wanted to start a war

Monday, September 6, 2004 Posted: 6:25 PM EDT (2225 GMT)

 

 

Relatives of Angela Varziyeva cry during her funeral.

 

BESLAN, Russia (CNN) -- A suspect in the bloody school siege that left more than 330 people dead, nearly half of them children, said Monday the hostage-takers were ordered to seize the school to "start a war across the Caucasus."

 

Appearing on Russian state television, the unidentified man said the attack was ordered by Chechen rebel leader Aslan Maskhadov and Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev.

 

"They gathered us in the woods and 'The Colonel' said that we should take over a school in Beslan. That was our order," he said.

 

"When we asked why we were doing this, what our goal was, 'The Colonel' answered us, 'Because we need to start a war across the Caucasus."

 

He said the hostage-takers included Uzbeks, Arabs and Chechens.

 

The video also showed investigators displaying weapons confiscated in their search of the wrecked and bombed out school.

 

The suspect earlier had said he did not fire a shot inside the school and that he "pitied the children" who were taken captive.

 

"Of course I pitied the children, I swear to Allah. I have children myself. I didn't shoot. I swear to Allah," he said. "I don't want to die. I swear to Allah, I want to live."

 

Few other details were released about the suspect.

 

At least 338 hostages, including 156 children, were killed after terrorists seized a school building and held more than 1,000 students and adults hostage.

 

Along with them, 26 hostage-takers and 10 Russian special forces died.

 

Among the slain hostage-takers were 10 from Arab countries, authorities have said.

 

Russians are observing two days of national mourning as anger mounts over the government's handling of the siege.

 

Nearly every family in the southern Russian town of Beslan was grieving Monday as the grim task of burying the dead continued.

 

About 120 funerals were planned in the town cemetery and adjoining fields, following about 20 on Sunday.

 

Among the first to be buried were Zinaida Kudziyeva, 42, and her 10-year-old daughter, Madina.

 

The two had tried to flee when the first explosions went off and were caught in the crossfire between militants and Russian forces, relatives said.

 

"They couldn't run away. They didn't have time," The Associated Press quoted Irakly Khosulev, a relative from the nearby city of Vladikavkaz, as saying. "Someone should answer for this."

 

The grief was also apparent at the funeral of Alina Khubechova, who celebrated her 11th birthday the day before the siege began. Her parents grasped a picture of the pretty girl with white ribbons in her brown hair, Reuters reported.

 

Weeping mourners placed flowers and wreaths at the graves of two sisters -- Alina, 12 and Ira, 13 -- who were laid to rest together.

 

Relatives walked towards the cemetery bearing portraits of the dark-haired girls and simple wooden planks -- temporary grave markers -- bearing their names and the dates framing their short lives, AP said.

 

Meanwhile, residents, politicians and even Russian state television raised questions about the massacre.

 

"At such moments, society needs the truth," Rossiya television commentator Sergei Brilyov said Sunday night, AP reported.

 

Brilyov blamed the "system of administration," where "everything hangs on the bravery of the rank and file, but generals can't bring themselves to act until the president throws ideas to them."

 

His criticism -- which AP suggested was sanctioned by the Kremlin -- stopped short of President Vladimir Putin, who also criticized Russia's law enforcement agencies in a weekend speech to the nation.

 

The Interfax news agency said two politicians -- liberal Irina Khakamada and nationalist Sergei Glazyev -- have issued separate calls for an independent investigation into the crisis.

 

Other politicians directed their criticism at Putin himself.

 

"The official claim that international terrorism is behind the Beslan tragedy is a trick designed to divert responsibility away from the Kremlin," liberal Boris Nemtsov told Reuters.

 

Vladimir Ryzhkov, an independent member of the Duma, wrote in the Nezavisimaya daily: "(Putin) won the contract (as president) to restore order in the country, to ensure security for people. We see today that the contract has been violated."

 

Anger welled up amid the tears on Sunday as officials said the group of more than 30 hostage-takers -- most of them now dead -- included Chechens, Ingush and Arabs.

 

"If I see a Chechen or an Ingush, I will kill him, or his mother, or his son," Reuters quoted one young man as saying. The man, who declined to be named, was searching for a sister who was missing following the siege.

 

Officials appealed for calm in the volatile Caucasus region, which includes Chechnya, Ingushetia and North Ossetia, where the attack took place. Chechen rebels have been fighting Russia for independence for a decade.

 

Across Russia, flags flew at half-staff and television entertainment shows were canceled. Putin declared Monday and Tuesday as national days of mourning.

 

In Beslan, townspeople crowded around the coffins of the victims. Passing trains stopped and blew their horns in a show of respect for the dead.

 

People also were paying their respects at the gutted school gymnasium, where militants held more than 1,000 children, parents and teachers hostage for more than two days.

 

Flowers, pictures and bottles of water have been placed among the rubble. Deprived of water by their captors, many of the children stripped to their underwear and drank their own urine.

 

Bottles of water were also placed at the graves as grief-stricken parents trudged through mud and rain to bury their children.

 

Of the more than 700 people who needed medical help after the crisis, 411 remained hospitalized on Monday -- 214 of them children, the North Ossetian health ministry told AP.

 

Of the most badly injured, 23 were in Moscow and 11 in the southern city of Rostov-on-Don.

 

As of Sunday, around 100 people were unaccounted for, the Interior Ministry said.

 

Many of the dead had not been identified, with some bodies charred beyond recognition; the ITAR-Tass news agency said Monday that about 60 would need DNA analysis.

 

A plane delivered antibiotics, bandages and other medical supplies from Italy on Sunday, and two U.S. transport planes were due to deliver aid to Beslan later Monday, AP reported.

 

 

 

 

The parallels are striking. AQ wants the same thing.

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