Funeral processions filled the rainy streets of this southern Russian city Monday, carrying coffins large and small, as townspeople buried scores of victims of a carefully planned school siege that prosecutors linked to a Chechen rebel leader.
Desperate families searched for those still missing from the siege at School No. 1, while others buried 120 victims during the first of two days of national mourning across Russia, which has seen more than 400 people killed in violence linked to terrorism in the past two weeks.
Reports emerged that the attackers apparently planned the school seizure months ago, sneaking weapons into the building in advance.
There also were signs that some of the militants did not know they were to take children hostage and may have been killed by their comrades when they objected, reports ABC News.
According to the Indian Express, in Beslan, many residents have directed their anger not only at Putin but at regional leader Alexander Dzasokhov.
"I fully understand my responsibility," said Dzasokhov, the president of North Ossetia, the region near Chechnya where Beslan is located.
"I want to beg your pardon for failing to protect children, teachers and parents."
At the Beslan House of Culture, a gathering point for families throughout the crisis, volunteers taking names said the list of missing stood at 190 as of Sunday afternoon.
Many families have left not only names but snapshots, such as one of a little girl celebrating New Year’s wearing a snow princess dress and surrounded by boys in white rabbit costumes.
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