The Russian hostage situation has been resolved bloodily, but the number of casualties is unknown so far:
Interfax: All Hostages Freed
Bloody end to Russia school siege
Bloody end to school siege
Russian Forces Storm School; Gunfire Continues
Soldiers Fight Rebels to End Russian School Siege
(While I wrote the post, several headlines changed)
Surprisingly the number of hostages was close to 1.500, and not just 200, as previously thought.
Update (1:45 PM CET): According to German news, 15 hostage takers have been killed, and 200 hostages have been injured. There still are no reliable reports about the number of dead hostages (due to the power of some of the explosions there have to be at least some).
Update II (2:10 PM CET): German news report that 10 hostages have been killed, and 120 of the wounded are children. At this point there may still be some gun battles.
The situation seems to have been escalated by a badly prepared assault by the Russian special forces, not by the terrorists.
While I’m writing this the number of reported deaths fluctuates between 7 and 150, so there is still a lot of confusion.
13 terrorists seem to have escaped, some may still be in the building.
Update III (2:25 PM CET) Unsubstantiated reports by Russian media: Many have died when part of the roof collapsed.
Exact numbers are still hard to come by. Many parents seem to have taken their children straight home, instead of having them taken to hospitals by police and ambulances.
Update IV (3:05 PM CET) Via CNN: ITV News reports that there about a hundred dead bodies in the school’s gym
Update V (6:02 PM CET) Via Outside the Beltway: Here is a very good timeline at the BBC website
The latest entries so far:
1540: The bodies of sixty victims of the siege have been identified.
1530: Officials say the death toll could be much higher than 150.
1520: Presidential adviser Aslambek Aslakhanov says that there were at least nine Arabs among the hostage-takers.
1514: Officials say that some children are still being held hostage.
1450: Interfax reports three rebels have blockaded themselves into Russian school basement, possibly including head hostage-taker.
1440: Regional emergency officials confirm that there are at least 100 dead bodies in the school gym.
3 thoughts on “A quick news overview of the Russian hostage crisis”
…and Jesus wept.
I was disappointed to read the conclusion to DW’s opinion piece by Peter Philipp, Is the World Powerless Against Terrorism?.
Hand wringing, sympathy, and everyone agreeing that terrorism isn’t very nice is hardly a strategy for stopping it. I think the terrorists know it isn’t very nice. That’s their point.
Thanks for the updates, Ralf.
Kerry wants us to be more sensitive. The world is complex. Shooting children in the back and clubbing in their heads with rifle butts — not complex.
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