Russian officials have officially opened two new schools in the southern town of Beslan to replace the one destroyed in last year's school siege, which ended with the deaths of 330 people.

The ceremonies Wednesday comes almost one year after armed militants raided the school, taking more than 1,000 people hostage.

The siege ended in explosions and a hail of gunfire as Russian security forces stormed the building. More than half those killed were children.

Chechen separatist leader Shamil Basayev has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Last week, robbers ransacked one of the new schools and made off with thousands of dollars worth of equipment.

Some information for this report provided by AP.