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Beslan School Massacre Trial Begins in Southern Russia


Zaur Dzarasov cries as he, with his mother Emilia, stand in what is left of the gymnasium of the primary school in Beslan
The trial has begun of the only-known surviving suspected hostage-taker charged in last September's Russian school massacre.

The supreme court in the southern republic of North Ossetia began hearing prosecution arguments Tuesday against Nur-Pashi Kulayev.

The 24-year-old Chechen is charged with murder, terrorism and attacks on law enforcement officials for the three-day siege of an elementary school in the town of Beslan that left 330 people dead, half of them children.

Mr. Kulayev has admitted to being among more than 30 armed militants who took over the school, but denies killing anyone. He faces a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted. Russia has no death penalty.

Chechen separatist leader Shamil Basayev claimed responsibility for the attack on the school.

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