The Russian forces have taken the building under control
Russian special units started battling against the gunmen, who were trying to hide in a residential area next to the school. The militants were trying to break away from the school and escape to the town, but the Russian troops blocked their way.
Tens of children have been rescued from the seized school by 1:50 p.m., eyewitnesses say. A correspondent of Reuters said that the number of rescued hostages was not large, taking into consideration their total number.
The skirmish near the school subsided at 2:00 p.m. Several terrorists attempted to escape, having put civilian clothes on. They broke through the cordon and disappeared in residential quarters. Two female suicide bombers reportedly put on white gowns and fled, having taken several children along.
The Russian forces have taken practically the entire building under control by 2:05 p.m.
Five militants have been killed in the building, NTV said. Local residents are taking an active part in the battle.
Several people of the Russian Emergency Ministry have been injured as a result of the storm, Emergency Minister Sergey Shoygu said.
According to eyewitnesses, about 40 children have been taken out of the school at 2:15 p.m., RIA Novosti reported from the site of the battle. A lot of children were running out of the building without anyone's help.
At 2:25 the skirmish in Beslan resumed. Helicopters appeared in the sky again. About 160 people, presumably children, have been taken to local hospitals, Echo of Moscow radio station said. Doctors entered the building at 2:25 p.m.
Russian special units control the building, but the skirmish continues. Three armored vehicles drove up to the building at 2:40 p.m. Two powerful explosions could be heard.
Special forces organized a small explosion in a wall to make an additional way to save the hostages. One terrorist has been reportedly taken captive.
Local people inundate the streets of Beslan, sporadic explosions are heard throughout the town. Ambulance vehicles can hardly reach the battle area because of the people in the streets.
Gunfire could be heard inside the building at 2:56 p.m., RIA Novosti reported. A part of the terrorists is obviously staying inside, defending themselves. The militants were firing grenade-launchers.
NTV reports, a group of the gunmen wearing track suits was trying to escape from the battlefield.
Special services are detecting the guised insurgents in the town's center, Itar-Tass said. A skirmish occurred not far from Beslan's railway station, when a group of gunmen apparently attempted to make their way to the station. Itar-Tass confirmed the information later.
Several terrorists opened chaotic fire on local residents, trying to escape. Several military men of the Russian federal forces have been wounded in the raid.
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