Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Kolesnikov: No Stashed Beslan Arms

Deputy Prosecutor General Vladimir Kolesnikov said Thursday that heavily armed militants had not stashed weaponry in Beslan's School No. 1 before the September 2004 hostage-taking that left 331 hostages dead.

Kolesnikov, who is carrying out a Kremlin-ordered investigation into the attack, also said that no criminal charges would be brought against military personnel who used flame-throwers during the last day of the three-day seizure.

Many relatives of victims and others have claimed that the 32 militants stored guns and ammunition in the floor below the school library ahead of time, suggesting school officials may have been complicit in the deadly raid.

Kolesnikov said evidence showed that militants had brought all their weapons with them on the first day of the seizure, Sept. 1, rather than hiding the guns in the school beforehand.

Kolesnikov also rejected accusations by some former hostages and relatives who have suggested that the deadly blaze that followed explosions on the last day and sent the burning gymnasium roof crashing down was sparked by the chaotic military response and the botched rescue effort. "The actions of the military personnel were justified, and there are no grounds to open a criminal investigation," Kolesnikov said.

Kolesnikov said the school's principal had not been in communication with the militants, refuting allegations by some former hostages that she had received special treatment from the terrorists.

After repeated delays, a parliamentary commission, which is also investigating the attack, is slated to release its final report sometime in December.

President Vladimir Putin ordered Kolesnikov's investigation after Beslan residents complained that the parliamentary investigation was ignoring their concerns.