On September 1, 2004, armed Chechen rebels took approximately 1,200 children and adults hostage at a school in Beslan, North Ossetia, Russia, at around 9 am local time.
The siege ended on September 3, 2004 with more than 330 killed, including 186 children, and more than 700 people wounded.
The hostage takers are reportedly followers of Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev,
though some believe it is an international terrorist organization.
The school taken over is referred to as School No. 1.
The siege took place on the first day of classes in Beslan.
The hostage takers reportedly wore suicide belts and bombs were strapped to the basketball goals in the gymnasium.
September 1, 2004
Armed Chechen rebels take approximately 1,200 children and adults hostage at the school in Beslan.
- 4:40 pm - 12 children and one adult escape after hiding in a boiler room.
- 7:30 pm - Contact is established with hostage takers.
September 2, 2004
- President Vladimir Putin
cancels a trip to Turkey and makes a public statement about the school seizure.
- 4:45 pm - Approximately 26 hostages are released.
- 9:00 pm - Local authorities say approximately 20 male hostages are executed.
September 3, 2004
- 1:00 pm - Local authorities receive permission from hostage takers to remove bodies lying in front of the school since the siege began. A few minutes later, loud explosions are heard. Hostages begin fleeing building and are shot at. Militants also begin fleeing the building. The roof in gymnasium, where hundreds of hostages are held, collapses, killing many.
- 2:30 pm - Russian commandos take over the school and free many hostages.
- 3:17 pm - Most of the hostages are reportedly evacuated.
- The siege ends with more than 330 hostages dead, half of them are children.
September 7, 2004 - Footage airs on Russia's NTV television and shows hundreds of hostages in the school's gymnasium while hostage takers string up explosives.
May 18, 2005 - The trial opens for the only person charged in the case, Nur-Pashi Kulayev. He was the only hostage taker captured alive.
May 16, 2006 - Nur-Pashi Kulayev, is found guilty of terrorism and other charges in the first part of his verdict. He is sentenced to life in prison on May 26.
December 22, 2006 - A Russian parliamentary commission releases a report on its investigation into the Beslan massacre. The report blames Chechen guerillas for the high death toll and exonerates the Russian security forces. Some families denounce the report as a cover-up.
September 1, 2009 -
More than 2,500 people gather outside the school for a fifth anniversary memorial service.