The exact number of killed and wounded hostages is not known yet
The relatively quiet situation around the school ended suddenly on Friday afternoon. An aid to the North Ossetian president, Lev Dzugayev, said at 1:00 p.m. that terrorists had agreed to hand over hostages' bodies to Russian troops. The evacuation started.
Powerful explosions rocked the school, when a vehicle drove up there to take the hostages' bodies. Several hostages ran out of the school building several minutes after the terrorists started shooting. Military men carried the hostages to safety.
The skirmish continued for about 20 minutes. Camouflaged men started taking women and children out of the building. Some children were covered with blood. Hostages were running out crying. Ambulance vehicles arrived immediately.
The terrorists exploded mines, which had been previously placed in the building of the school, when the evacuation started. The roof of the school partially collapsed because of explosions.
The bombs blew up in the loft of the building, near the gym, where the hostages were being kept, NTV reports. Children started running out of the building soon after that.
The terrorists opened chaotic fire on people and neighboring buildings.
Military structures had to act according to the developing situation, the special headquarters said.
Mi-8 choppers were flying in the battle area.
The fire resumed at 1:30 p.m. A group of naked children ran out of the school. SkyNews channel broadcast a live report of the battle: adults and children were seen running away from the school; many of them had no clothes on.
According to eyewitnesses, soldiers were taking blood-stained children away from the school; they were carrying some children on stretchers.
The special headquarters said that it was not the storm of the building. A group of hostages fled, the terrorists opened fire on them and the military men had to respond in return to defend the hostages.
The gunmen attempted to break through the crowd of relatives standing near the school. The Russian troops opened fire on the retreating militants. The majority of children, who stayed inside the building, have not been wounded, Interfax reports.
A correspondent of a Polish TV channel has been wounded in the skirmish, NTV reports.
Dozens of children have been evacuated from the seized building. Live reports showed them resting and drinking water. The children are wearing only underwear, a lot of them are crying. Numerous ambulance vehicles are taking the wounded people to hospitals.
Several civilians have been wounded in the battle too. The special headquarters do not have the exact information about the number of rescued and killed hostages.
Russian special units entered the school building at 1:52 p.m., Itar-Tass reports with reference to eyewitnesses. People continued running out of the building, when special services broke in. The skirmish continued from 1:30 to 1:40 p.m. Russian troops were battling the gunmen, who tried to hide in a residential area near the school.