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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 October 2005, 12:31 GMT 13:31 UK
Relatives remember Moscow siege
By Emma Simpson
BBC News, Moscow

Children at ceremony
Children laid tributes outside the Dubrovka theatre
Relatives of victims of the Dubrovka theatre siege have held a ceremony in Moscow to remember those who died.

On 26 October 2002, security forces stormed the building to bring an end to the stand-off with 41 Chechen rebels who had taken the audience hostage.

All the attackers were killed, but so too were 130 civilians, most of whom died from the poisonous gas used by the authorities to subdue the rebels.

Families are demanding a new investigation into the incident.

One by one, the names of all the victims were read out to a small gathering of relatives outside the Dubrovka theatre.

As the first snowfall of winter covered the crowd, local schoolchildren placed flowers on the steps where Tatyana Karpova's son, Alexander, was among those killed in the attack.

"It's a very difficult day for us, and today, we decided to remember each of these people, and we name them," she said.

Beslan mothers

Later, she read out a statement to President Vladimir Putin, demanding a new investigation into the attack. These relatives want to know what the gas was that killed so many people, and for someone to be held responsible for the way security forces stormed the theatre.

Three years ago we watched on TV what was happening here, and then, the sorrow came to us
Rita Sedakova
Beslan mother

Several mothers who lost children in last year's school siege in Beslan also took part.

Rita Sedakova lost her daughter when security forces stormed the school to end the siege. She told me why she had come.

"All these children are our children now too. Three years ago we watched on TV what was happening here, and then, the sorrow came to us."

The mothers of Beslan have now joined forces with the families of the Dubrovka siege, as well as those affected by some of Russia's other terror attacks, to form a new group to try to find out the truth and to prevent more lives from being lost.


SEE ALSO:
Excerpts: Basayev claims Beslan
17 Sep 04 |  Europe
Press gloom on theatre siege
23 Oct 03 |  Europe
How special forces ended siege
29 Oct 02 |  Europe


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