Russian School Hostage Crisis

There has been yet another tragic end to a hostage crisis in Russia. Over 150 hostages died and at least 646 were wounded September 3 as security forces battled militants in the town of Beslan, located in Russias North Ossetia region. The bloody outcome reinforces the impression that Russian efforts to stabilize the volatile North Caucasus region are failing.

As the hostage crisis prepared to enter its third day, gunfire and explosions seemed to erupt spontaneously during the morning of September 3, according to various wire service accounts. By midday, Russian officials claimed that the school had been brought under control, with all the surviving hostages evacuated.

Contrary to initial Russian government statements that there were roughly 350 hostages being held, it turned out that as many as 1,500 people had been confined inside the school, according to Russian media reports. The final toll could climb far higher than the initial estimate of about 150 deaths. Bodies may still lie under the rubble of the gymnasiums wall. In addition, many of wounded were believed to be in grave condition.

If you would like to see more information on this tragedy, go to the site of an International Foundation that helps victims of terror attacks. They can accept donations.

The formal prediction was for the period from 08:00 to 12:00. The analysis result was Chisquare 14722.08 on 14400 df, corresponding to a p-value of 0.025 (Z=1.952). The graph below shows a very strong trend during the morning, especially between 9 and 11:00.

Russian School Hostage Crisis

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