08/25/2005, 00.00
RUSSIA
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Beslan mothers end occupation of Russian Supreme Court

The 15-member group demands government officials responsible for letting the massacre happen be charged.

Moscow (AsiaNews/Agencies) – About 15 women left yesterday the Supreme Court in Vladikavkaz after occupying it over night. They are calling for charges to be laid against those government officials they hold responsible for letting the Beslan school massacre take place.

The women—who belong to the 'Committee of the Mothers of Beslan'—were attending the trial of Pashi Kulayev, the only man charged in the incident.

They asked to meet the State Prosecutor, General Nikolai Shepel. The military man, who lives in another town, refused and so they barricaded themselves in the Supreme Court building and demanded that local government officials who failed to prevent the infiltration by terrorists into the school in the months preceding the massacre be put on trial.

In an interview with state television NTV, the chairwoman of the Committee of the Mothers of Blesan, Susanna Dudiyeva, yesterday accused investigators of not doing enough to find out who, among local and national officials, can be held responsible for the massacre.

Victims' relatives have also criticised the Russian government for letting Special Forces storm the school without before trying the route of negotiations and thus provoking of the massacre.

Between September 1 and 3, 2004, a group of Chechen terrorists took more than a thousand people hostage in School Nº1 in Beslan. The intervention by Special Forces ended in a bloodbath in which some 400 people were killed, including more than 150 children.

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