WIKIPEDIA: The Beslan school hostage crisis (also referred to as the Beslan school siege or Beslan massacre) was a three day hostage-taking of over 1,100 people which ended in the deaths of over 300. It began when a group of armed mostly Muslim Ingush and Chechen terrorists took more than 1,100 people (including 777 children) hostage on 1 September 2004, at School Number One (SNO) in the town of Beslan, North Ossetia, an autonomous republic in the North Caucasus region of the Russian Federation.
The hostage taking was carried out by a group sent by the Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev, which issued demands of an end to the Second Chechen War. On the third day of the standoff, Russian security forces stormed the building, using tanks, flamethrower rockets, and other heavy weapons. A series of explosions shook the school, followed by a fire which engulfed the building and a chaotic gunbattle between the hostage-takers and Russian security forces. Ultimately, at least 334 hostages were killed, including 186 children; hundreds more were injured and many were reported missing.