NEVER-BEFORE-SEEN VIDEO SHOT BY THE TERRORISTS IN THE BESLAN, RUSSIA SCHOOL SIEGE -- �48 HOURS,� SATURDAY, JAN. 22
48 HOURS has obtained never-before-seen videotape shot by the terrorists who took 1,200 people hostage on Sept. 1, 2004 for three days at a school in Beslan, Russia. Roughly half of the hostages are believed to have been children. Correspondent Peter Van Sant speaks to the hostage negotiator, Ruslan Aushev, who is seen in the new video negotiating with the terrorists� leader. The footage also captures the dramatic moment when the terrorists let mothers leave captivity with their babies, some of whom were forced to leave their older children behind. 48 HOURS: �Hostage� will be broadcast Saturday, Jan. 22 (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
It�s believed at least 32 terrorists staged the assault in Beslan just as students and their parents were arriving for a celebration on the first day of school. The hostages were held at gunpoint under appalling conditions � in a stifling hot gymnasium, deprived of food, water and bathroom access and with bombs hung above their heads.
Aushev, the hostage negotiator, said that the primary demand of the terrorists� leader, Ruslan �The Colonel� Kuchbarov, was to stop the war in Chechnya. The terrorists wanted Russian President Vladimir Putin to withdrawal all troops from Chechnya. Aushev knew this wasn�t a realistic demand, but he also thought the Russian government could agree and later change its mind. �I have four children and I imagined if my children were among the hostages. Everything should�ve been done to save these children,� Aushev tells 48 HOURS.
As the terrorist siege stretched to its third day, family members waited outside in agony, not knowing if their loved ones were alive or suffering at the hands of the hostage takers. That day, an explosion from inside the school set off a deadly gun battle between Russian Special Forces and the terrorists. When it was over, some of the hostages had escaped, but a staggering 330 people died, including 176 children. Many others were seriously injured.
48 HOURS also speaks to individuals who survived the ordeal, including the school�s principal, Lydia Tsalieva; a teacher, Elena Kosumova, whose son was also being held; Zalina Zandarova, a mother forced to leave one of her children behind; Sergei Urmanov, who lost his wife, daughter, sister and two nieces; Dariya Fadeeva, a 16-year-old whose 12-year-old sister was a hostage; and photojournalist Dimitri Beliakov, who caught the crisis on film. Beliakov�s pictures provide lasting images of the siege at Beslan, which he describes as a �Russian 9/11.�
48 HOURS: �Hostage� is produced by Joe Halderman and Jonathan Sanders. The senior producer is Peter Schweitzer and the executive producer is Susan Zirinsky.