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Flamethrowers burned no one in Beslan rescue operation - prosecutor


VLADIKAVKAZ, October 20 (RIA Novosti) - Russian Deputy Prosecutor General Vladimir Kolesnikov said Thursday that no one had been burned by flamethrowers in the operation to free the Beslan hostages.

"The burn impact was post mortem," he said, citing an investigation that had proven that the Shmel flamethrowers could not have caused the fire that broke out in Beslan school no.1. Therefore, the official said there were no grounds for filing criminal cases against troops who used the weapons.

A group of gunmen seized a school in Beslan, North Ossetia, a Russian republic in the North Caucasus, on September 1, 2004, taking children and locals hostage. Russian troops stormed the school on September 3. The death toll in the attack was 331, including 186 children. In all, 918 hostages were rescued.

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