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The Nord-Ost Tragedy – 10 Years On

23 October 2012 


Source: HRO.org (info)


Today, 23rd October sees the ten year anniversary of the seizure of hostages in the Dubrovka theatre centre. The special operation carried out by Russian special forces, killed 119 people, including ten children and eight foreign citizens. 

On 23rd October 2002 a group of Chechen militants led by Movsar Barayev took hostage 912 members of the audience and actors of the popular musical Nord-Ost. The terrorists demanded the withdrawal of Russian troops from Chechnya. The hostages were held for more than two days. During this time, through successful negotiations 60 people were released: children, women, foreigners and Muslims. Two hostages managed to escape. Five of the hostages were killed; three were wounded.

Early on the morning of 26th October Russian security forces began to storm the building, having released a sleeping gas into the concert hall area through the ventilation pipes. All 40 militants were killed. 119 hostages died from the gas attack. According to many experts, the majority of the hostages could have been saved if the operation had been conducted in a more competent way, and if arrangements had been made for timely and adequate medical aid. Ridus.ru reports that in total 130 innocent people were killed during the terrorist attack.

Commemorative events dedicated to the 10th anniversary of Nord-Ost will take place in Moscow on Friday 26th October. Interfax, citing the press service of the prefecture of the capital’s south-east administrative region, that at 7.40am there will be a special service in the church being built near the theatre centre. At 10.00am there will be a memorial event with the relatives and close friends of those who died. There will be a minute’s silence in memory of the victims of the terrorist attack. As by tradition, 130 balloons will be released and flowers will be laid at the special plaque bearing the names of the deceased. There will also be a special requiem concert and a commemorative church service. 

See also the аarchive of HRO.org ‘Tragedy of the Nord-Ost Hostages’

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