This is just sick...
Here's the full link
Here's the full link
Hundreds of Hostages Taken at Russian School
Eight Killed After Gunmen Seize Building; Chechen Rebels Blamed
By MUSA SADULAYEV, AP
BELSAN, Russia (Sept. 1) -- More than a dozen militants wearing suicide-bomb belts seized a southern Russian school in a region bordering Chechnya on Wednesday, taking hostage about 400 people - half of them children - and threatening to blow up the building if police storm it. As many as eight people have been reported killed, one of them a school parent.
Hours into the desperate standoff, security officials said they had made brief contact with the hostage-takers. Russian special forces wearing camouflage and carrying heavy-caliber machine guns surrounded Middle School No. 1. About 1,000 people, mostly parents, were massed the three-story building in the town of Belsen, demanding information and accusing the government of failing to protect their children.
Kazbek Dzantiyev, head of the North Ossetia region's Interior Ministry, said that the hostages have threatened ''for every destroyed fighter, they will kill 50 children and for every injured fighter - 20 (children),'' the ITAR-Tass news agency reported.
At one point, a girl wearing a floral print dress and a red bow in her hair fled the school, her hand held by a flak-jacketed soldier. An older woman followed them. Ruslan Ayamov, spokesman for North Ossetia's Interior Ministry told The Associated Press that 12 children and one adult managed to escape after hiding in the building's boiler room.
The attack was the latest blamed on secessionist Chechen rebels, coming a day after a suicide bomber killed nine people in Moscow and a week after near-simultaneous explosions blamed on terrorists caused two Russian planes to crash, killing all 90 people on board. The surge in violence was apparently timed around last Sunday's Chechen presidential election.
''In essence, war has been declared on us, where the enemy is unseen and there is no front,'' Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said.
President Vladimir Putin interrupted his working holiday Wednesday in the Black Sea resort of Sochi for a second time and returned to the capital. On arrival at the airport, he held an immediate meeting with the heads of Russia's Interior Ministry and Federal Security Service, the Interfax news agency said.