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Beslan: A View From Within

A gripping account, as detailed by survivors, of what happened inside the school in Beslan, Russia, as over 1,100 hostages were taken, purposely targeting children. 344 civilians were killed, among them 186 children.

Now his mind worked methodically. He wanted no one to see what he planned to do. Slowly, almost imperceptibly, his hand moved over the floor to the blue wire. Kazbek was forty-three. He had been a Soviet sapper as a younger man. He knew how bombs worked. He also knew how to disable them. The bomb overhead was part of a simple system, an open electric circuit rigged to a motor-vehicle battery. If the terrorists closed the circuit, current would flow from the battery through the wires and detonate the bombs. But if Kazbek pulled apart the wire inside its insulation, no current could flow. Then, he knew, if the circuit snapped closed, the bomb above his family would not explode. Kazbek had spent much of the day folding the wire back and forth, making a crimp. It was only a matter of time.

He lifted the wire. Back and forth he folded the notch, working it, looking directly at the men who would kill him if they knew what he was doing. He would disconnect this bomb. It was a step. Every step counted. His mind kept working. How does my family get out?

C.J. Chivers' The School is a must read.

1 Comment

Good news on this topic. "Shamil Basayev" was just killed today. He was the instigator for the Beslan Massacre.