Commission admits special forces used tanks, flame-throwers at the Beslan school

INGUSHETIA, OCTOBER 13, Caucasus Times – Arkady Baskayev, the lawmaker and member of the ad hoc parliamentary commission investigating into the September tragedy at the Beslan school admitted that special forces had employed heavy tanks, flame-throwers and rocket-propelled grenades while storming the school building. “Evidently, there were tanks, flame throwers and grenades launchers used in the storm, but the commission has not yet determined when it was taking place, at the time the hostages were still inside or when only terrorists remained in the building,” Mr. Baskayev said in his interview with BBC News.

Mr. Baskayev said the investigators were carrying out a technical expertise collecting evidences at the scene, while the military prosecutor were interviewing all servicemen of special forces and troops who had stormed the school to form a complete and clear picture.

The lawmaker said he had formed his own opinion about the event but suggested the commission should have the collective opinion worked out on the issue.
Mr. Baskayev assured, the conclusions of the commission would be “ninety nine percent” open for public, except some classified information, such as names of servicemen and special forces techniques employed in the storm.

“The commission will make a minute-by-minute report on the event, from the moment of the school seizer until all bodies of hostages were removed from the ruined gym, precisely what decisions were made, who was planning the operation and who was commanding,” Arkady Baskayev was quoted as saying.

However, Yuri Saveliyev, another member of the commission, the deputy from “Rodina” (Motherland) party speaking on Radio “Echo of Moscow” Tuesday, said the conclusions of commission would most likely never be announced to public. He said that the truth about those who had commanded to seize the school could be so awful that it might cause another bloodshed.

On Tuesday the 40-day mourning day period ended in Orthodox Christian temples with prayers in North Ossetia. Many observers had warned the long-term conflict between Ossetians and Ingushi could spark again after the 40-day mourning period. The people who have lost their loved ones could respond revenging the Ingushi living in the neighboring republic.

Nevertheless, many locals said the militants were planning to trigger the conflict by the raid at the school and therefore the people should keep in check their emotions to prevent the disaster.

Meanwhile, the reinforced police patrols working round-the-clock shift tightened security measures in Prigorodny district of North Ossetia inhabited by ethnic Ingushi to prevent possible disorders, Caucasus Times correspondent reported.

Caucasus Times

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