President Vladimir Putin and other Russian officials are not welcome at commemoration ceremonies next month for the victims of the Beslan school hostage crisis because they failed to save lives, said the head of a victims' support group on Tuesday.
Head of the Beslan mothers committee, Susanna Dudiyeva, said: "We do not want to see at the commemoration ceremonies those who should have saved our children... and did not fulfil their duties."
Ceremonies were set to take place on September 1-3 to commemorate the first anniversary of the crisis in a school in the North Caucasus town of Beslan, where militants demanding an end to the war in Chechnya took about 1 100 people hostage on September 01.
Russian forces stormed the building on September 3 and 318 civilians, including 186 children, were killed in the ensuing battle. Twelve Russian servicemen and 31 hostage-takers also died.
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