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President Vladimir Putin flew into Beslan on Saturday morning
Where he visited a local hospital and held a meeting at the situation HQ. Those attending the meeting included the president of North Ossetia, Alexander Dzasokhov, the first deputy director of the Federal Security Service (FSB), Vladimir Pronichev, Emergencies Minister Sergei Shoigu, Deputy Prosecutor General Sergei Fridinsky, head of the North Caucasus FSB Valery Andreev and the republic's interior minister, Kazbek Dzantiev. While speaking at the meeting, Mr Putin pointed out that this was not the first time that North Ossetia had fallen victim to terrorism. "This republic is Russia's outpost on the south," he said. "But this acts of terrorism occupies a particular place in terms of its cruelty and inhumanity, as the targets were children." "Today all of Russia, all of Russia, suffers for you, grieves with you, thanks you and is praying for you," Mr Putin told Alexander Dzasokhov. Mr Putin said that he had issued a number of instructions while he was still in Moscow to pursue further actions to identify anyone complicit in the terrorist attack. In particular, he gave orders to block mountainous regions, close the North Ossestian sector of the state border and the republic's administrative borders, and to conduct targeted measures to identify people involved in the attack. "One of the terrorists' aims," Mr Putin continued, "was to incite inter-ethnic hatred and explode the entire North Caucasus. Therefore, I ask you to work from the premise that everyone who gives into similar provocations will be seen by us as accomplices in this terrorist attack." "Of course, providing aid to all the victims, their families and help to the republic is a separate issue," the president said. He stressed that no storm of the Beslan school had been planned. "We considered all the possible scenarios, but we did not plan any military operation. Events developed very rapidly and unexpectedly, but security service officers displayed particular courage," the head of state said before pointing out that there had been losses among the servicemen. The meeting was then continued behind closed doors. Prior to the conference, the head of state had visited Beslan's local hospital. He one ward Mr Putin met the head mistress of the school, Lidiya Tsaliva, who was seriously wounded but conscious. The president then visited children in the hospital, where he spent about 30 minutes. Mr Putin then left for the airport.
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