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Belsan school hostage taking death toll 200
The North Ossetian Health Ministry has told RIA Novosti that the death toll in the Belsan school hostage taking, during which terrorists held hundreds of people captive for over two days, had reached 200. The ministry pointed out that people had died from wounds inflicted after the terrorists had opened fire and after the explosive devices the terrorists had planted detonated. At 01:00 Moscow time, the ministry reported that North Ossetia's hospitals were treating 704 people, including 259 children. According to representatives of the ministry, 79 bodies have been identified. However, the final figures remain unknown. A RIA Novosti correspondent in Beslan reports that the shooting near the school and from it has now stopped. Nevertheless, there are sporadic explosions and individual shots can be heard in the town. The emergency HQ told RIA Novosti that the special operation in and around the school had been completed and the search for those terrorists that managed to flee the scene was continuing. In all, 27 terrorists were killed: eight on the school premises and the others nearby when they tried to escape. According to unconfirmed information, another three were captured. RIA Novosti learnt at the Zashchita (Defence) medical centre that the first victims from North Ossetia would arrive in Moscow on Saturday morning. A source did not say how many people would be flown in, as doctors on the scene would take that decision. "We have everything ready to accept the wounded," he said.
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