North Ossetia fears another Beslan

The fear of a repitition of the last year tragedy has resufaced in a southern Russian region

Schools and kindergartens were closed on Friday because of the terror alert in the southern Russian region North Ossetia (Alania). This was recommended by the regional police and the Education Ministry, after they had received repeated warnings about the imminent terrorist attacks.

A source in a law-enforcing agency of the region said that the alarming information is arriving hourly and that the agency is “under a constant strain”. Yesterday the region's interior minister ordered to make special arrangements to prevent the menace of terrorism. The order to close all schools and kindergartens was issued by the Education Ministry.

Meanwhile, the main opposition party in the region, the United Ossetia, plans to organize a rally “against the corruption” in the center of Ossetian capital, Vladikavkaz. They insist on rallying on the Liberty square of the city, situated in front of the governmental headquartes.

The spokesperson for the regional Interior Ministry, Ismel Shaov, has already expressed their disappointment that they will have to deploy the significant forces in the center of the city for keeping order. “This will distract us from our direct work at the time when the alarming information is arriving”, - said Mr. Shaov without specifying what kind of information is meant.

A little later a high rank official announced that the information about the concentration of the armed men near the border between North Ossetia and Ingushetia hadn't been confirmed, but the careful examination of this information was well under way.

On the photo: Beslan, North Ossetia, September 2004