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Russian parliamentary commission blames police for Beslan school siege

[JURIST] Alexander Torshin, the head of the Russian parliamentary commission investigating last year's Beslan school siege [BBC report; MosNews report] told the upper house of parliament [official website] Wednesday that despite their exoneration by prosecutors [JURIST report] earlier this week, local law enforcement officials were in fact negligent in ignoring instructions to increase school security. Last year, Islamic militants seized Beslan's School No. 1, holding 1,100 students, teachers and parents hostage, killing 330 and wounding 783 more. Torshin said an increase in security could have prevented the attack and that "The counter-terrorist operation was plagued by shortcomings. ... Many law enforcement officers did not know how to act in an emergency situation." He also blamed authorities for infuriating the captors by under-reporting the number of hostages. Prosecutors declined to hold security forces responsible for the rescue effort, which resulted in the deadly end to the siege. AP has more. MosNews has local coverage.

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