Chechnya's interior minister says authorities have detained 12 people suspected of ties to last year's school hostage-taking in the southern Russian town of Beslan. 

The official, Ruslan Alkhanov, told reporters that the men were detained Sunday night in Chechnya's Achkoi-Martin region.  Mr. Alkhanov says six of the suspects have begun giving testimony to interrogators.

They are accused of acting as a back-up for the hostage-takers who seized an elementary school last September.  The suspects are believed to have left Beslan as soon as the main group of attackers took control of the school.

The attackers took some one thousand children and adults hostage for three days.  Hundreds were killed when the siege came to a confusing and brutal end.

Some information for this report provided by AP.