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Prosecutor Demands Death Penalty for Accused Beslan Attacker

A Russian prosecutor has demanded the death penalty for the man believed to be the lone surviving attacker in 2004's bloody Beslan school siege.

Deputy Prosecutor-General Nikolai Shepel told the court in the southern Russian city of Vladikavkaz Thursday that execution is the only appropriate punishment for Nurpashi Kulayev.

Despite the request, it is still not clear whether Kulayev can be executed. Russia imposed a moratorium on the death penalty in 1996 when it joined the Council of Europe.

Shepel also announced the arrest of another suspect, Israpil Khaykharoyev, on charges of membership in a backup team for the Beslan attack.

Gunmen demanding withdrawal of Russian forces from Chechnya held more than 1,000 hostages in a school in the North Ossetian town of Beslan. The stand-off ended in a series of explosions as security forces stormed the building. More than 330 people, mostly children, were killed.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.