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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Beslan Parents Urge Leader to Resign

Itar-TassSusanna Dudiyeva told reporters Thursday, "The cemetery where our children are buried — that is Dzasokhov's business card."
Parents of children killed in the Beslan hostage crisis renewed calls Thursday for the resignation of North Ossetian President Alexander Dzasokhov, saying the regional government is rife with corruption and bribery and warning of repeat terror attacks.

Susanna Dudiyeva, 44, whose 12-year-old son was killed in the Sept. 1-3 crisis, said she and other relatives of the dead still had faith in President Vladimir Putin and believed that a high-level parliamentary commission would fully investigate the seizure. But she said Dzasokhov and other senior officials in North Ossetia's government should be fired for allowing the militants to easily seize the school with such a huge quantity of weapons and explosives.

"We tell our children, 'Study hard and you'll grow up to be president,'" Dudiyeva said at a Moscow news conference called to announce an open letter to Putin from a group of Beslan mothers. "What? To be a president like Dzasokhov? The cemetery where our children are buried -- that is Dzasokhov's business card."

Dzasokhov has steadfastly refused to resign, though he fired the regional government in the weeks following the crisis, which left more than 330 people dead.

Last month, hundreds of relatives blocked a main highway outside Beslan for more than three days, calling for Dzasokhov's resignation.

In the letter, the parents called on Putin to name a new president "and bring law and order to our republic."

"Dzasokhov's continued stay in the post of regional president is not only an insult to the dead innocent children of Beslan, but also a strong factor in the instability of all of Ossetia and, without a doubt, will contribute to the further aggravation of the internal situation," the letter said.

Dudiyeva said if nothing were done to clean up the government, more terrorist attacks would likely result. "What do we pay taxes for?" she said. "If authorities don't change anything following this attack, then Russia has no future."

Contacted by telephone in North Ossetia's capital Vladikavkaz, Dzasokhov spokesman Igor Dzantiyev said he had no comment on the demands.

The group of parents from Beslan traveled to Moscow to meet with survivors of other terrorist attacks, including the October 2002 hostage standoff at the Dubrokva theater. "We came here for justice," said Emma Tagayeyeva, 42.