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Last Updated: Saturday, 4 September, 2004, 05:18 GMT 06:18 UK
In pictures: Russian school battle
Tearful relatives look on as the rescue operation gets under way
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A day of horror for the residents of Beslan, as the siege at the No 1 school comes to a bloody end.
Running boy
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Gunfire and blasts were heard from inside the building - then there was pandemonium as the hostages fled for their lives.
Russian soldiers outside the building
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Russian commandos stormed the building in an unplanned response to the sudden violence.
Boy and man
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Frantic relatives hunted for their loved ones amid the confusion.
Russian gunmen
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Shooting continued as soldiers - and, some reports say, armed parents - went after the hostage-takers.
Injured child carrying a cross
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For the hostages, it was a bloody climax to a desperate three-day ordeal.
Mother embraces her injured son
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There was relief for some...
Relatives scan lists
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For others, desperately scanning lists of victims, the fate of their loved ones remains unknown.
A man grieves over the body of a woman
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And for others, there is no hope at all.
Russian soldier carries stretchers
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Correspondents said there appeared to be little preparation for the rescue operation that was needed.
Hostages leaving by car
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A lack of ambulances meant private cars were used to ferry away the injured.
Injured children are carried on a stretcher in a temporary hospital
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Many of the wounded were treated in improvised field hospitals in the open.
Firefighter inside the remains of the school gymnasium
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Eventually, resistance inside the school was crushed. Firefighters trod through the ruins to quench remaining fires.

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