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Last Updated: Tuesday, 29 November 2005, 14:01 GMT
State forces blamed over Beslan
Mourners in the gutted gymnasium of Beslan's School Number One
Beslan remains dominated by grief
Russian security forces were partly to blame for last year's school hostage crisis in Beslan, investigators from the North Caucasus have concluded.

The hostage-taking raid by pro-Chechen gunmen led to the deaths of 331 people.

The North Ossetian parliament commission said the school had been seized because of "failings in the law enforcement bodies".

Many relatives blame their children's deaths on a botched rescue operation, in which fire engulfed the school.

The head of the commission, Stanislav Kesayev, said the identified "failings" included "the fact that a large number of armed people gained access to a major rail and air hub like Beslan without being noticed".

The commission said the findings should lead to "organisational" consequences.

Heavy weapons

The report, quoted by the Interfax news agency, concluded that grenade launchers, flamethrowers and tank fire were used during the storming of the school.

But it is not clear from the news report whether investigators believe the children were still in the school at the time, the BBC's Emma Simpson says.

Earlier this year Russia's prosecutor general admitted such equipment had been used, but only after all the children had left the school.

For weeks after the siege Russian officials had denied the use of flamethrowers.

Some of the bereaved parents say flamethrowers were used while hostages were still in the school.

The report released on Tuesday said the various security forces involved at the scene had given contradictory information about their actions.

Eight parliamentary deputies who witnessed the school siege were on the commission, Mr Kesayev said.

A separate investigating team overseen by Russian deputy prosecutor-general Nikolai Shepel has been given until 1 March to deliver its findings.

Hear why a portion of blame has been directed at the security forces

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