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Last Updated: Friday, 26 May 2006, 12:45 GMT 13:45 UK
In pictures: Beslan verdict

Nur-Pashi Kulayev in the court house in Vladikavkaz on Friday

The sole surviving member of a 32-strong team of militants who stormed a school in North Ossetia in 2004 has been sentenced to life in jail.

Nur-Pashi Kulayev in court on Friday

Relatives hurled abuse at Nur-Pashi Kulayev, who called the evidence against him a "fairy tale", and some even tried to attack him as he was led away.

Relatives outside the court house in Vladikavkaz on Friday

The sentence was a small comfort to relatives, some of whom had called for the death penalty to be imposed.

Relatives of the Beslan victims in the Vladikavkaz court house on Friday

Many of the families, who showed pictures to the press after the hearing, feel the authorities share some of the blame.

Relatives outside the court house on Friday

The strain showed as tussles broke out between relatives upon hearing of the sentence - and of one prosecutor's view that authorities had not acted negligently.

A woman holds a picture of her son in the court house on Friday

Most of the 330 victims of the Chechen militants were children.

Beslan gymnasium

The school gymnasium where for three days the hostages were held is a shrine to those who perished.

Gymnasium of the school in Beslan

Light floods into the gym, which lost its roof as the hostage crisis reached its explosive, bloody climax.

Woman kisses her granddaughter's grave in a Beslan cemetery

Correspondents say this conviction is unlikely to be enough to help Beslan's residents, still haunted by the tragedy, move on.

Fatima Murtatov, with three children (from left to right) Madina, Vika and Diana

Fatima Murtatov, left, and her three children were hostages who survived. But now she cannot bear to let them attend their graduation ceremonies.





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