As Russia prepares to mark the 10th anniversary of the deadly Beslan school siege, which left 333 hostages dead, local residents remain fearful and say nothing has been done to prevent another attack. Vanessa Johnston reports.
It's been ten years since a deadly three-day school siege in the North Ossetian town of Beslan. On September 1, 2004, more than a thousand parents and children arrived for the first day of school, only to be taken hostage by heavily armed Chechen rebels. On the third day of the siege, hundreds were killed in a series of sudden explosions and fire fights -- it's still not clear what sparked the carnage. Witnesses in Beslan have said they saw Russian forces fire at the school -- something Russian officials have denied. An official investigation found that negligence and incompetence by Russian police and some officials had contributed to the bloodbath. But victims' relatives are still angry that those at the top were never held to account. And some fear such a tragedy could happen again. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) SUSANA DUDIYEVA, HEAD OF BESLAN MOTHERS' COMMITTEE, SAYING: "Nothing has changed. Corruption is flourishing as before, bureaucratic solidarity is flourishing as before - nobody will ever punish one of their group, and all this causes us lots of pain, because we all are as unprotected as before". In 2008, more than 400 Beslan residents filed complaints with the European Court of Human Rights. Their cases will finally be heard this October.