One year ago, terrorists terrorists from the Russian republics of Chechnya and Ingushetia seized Beslan School No. 1 in Russia. The three-day siege at the elementary school ended in an inferno of explosions, gunfire and flame, and has left a legacy of shattered lives. It left 331 people dead, including 186 children.
The Mothers of Beslan, a local advocacy group that keeps a roll of the dead, said 22 6- and 7-year-olds, among nearly 90 first-graders, were killed in the siege. Thirty-one terrorists were also killed, according to Russian officials. One year later, the children are preparing to go back to school, many for the first time since the siege, reports the Washington Post. The first-graders are the most vulnerable group in the small city, psychologists said, because the only school day they know is the day they and their families became hostages. “School means death for them,” said Fatima Bagayeva, a psychologist.