Defenseless Targets

YURI KOZYREV FOR TIME

A child is carried to safety amid the carnage that left more than 320 people dead at a school in the Russian town of Beslan, Friday, as a hostage crisis ended in a six-hour battle

Sometimes it is the gift of children to keep their parents strong. Elena Kasumova felt her hope dying as she huddled with her son Timur, 9, in the sweltering gymnasium of School No. 1. It was Friday morning, and the hostage nightmare in Beslan, a small town in the Russian republic of North Ossetia, was in its third day. Kasumova, a 37-year-old teacher at the school, and Timur were among the nearly 1,200 hostages packed into the gym. Most of the children had long since stripped down to their underwear; some fainted from thirst, while others drank their own urine. The...

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