I haven't mentioned the Russian school-hostage situation (or the plane bombings) because honestly I just don't know what to say about it. Any people who would do such a thing are profoundly evil. It's not a "different way of life". It's not a culture we have to understand. It's a cancer we have to ruthlessly and relentlessly purge from humanity. And now the terrorists have fired on children who tried to escape and were apparently dying of thirst.

There were scenes of pandemonium, as children ran terrified and half-naked through the streets grabbing water bottles from medics.

One boy described his escape.

"I smashed the window to get out," he told Russian TV. "People were running in all directions... [The rebels] shot from the roof."

Ambulances ferried hundreds of people to hospital. Our correspondent says at least 150 children were among them.

It sounds like the Russian troops tried to assault the school when they saw the terrorists shooting at the fleeing children. They had been intending to negotiate, but I don't imagine they could sit idly by while the children were gunned down, so they had to at least lay down some suppression fire. The details aren't very clear yet though, so we may not know exactly what's happening for a while.

FoxNews has more background.

Officials also told FOX News that 10 of the 20 terrorists killed by Russian soldiers were Arabs. ...

The hostage-taking was an unprecedented event in the region, according to a FOX News military analyst.

"The is a whole new escalation," said Air Force Lieutenant General (Ret.) Tom McInerney.

McInerney cautioned against criticizing Russia's security forces for their handling of the three-day-long standoff.

"You can't do a pinpoint strike. We have never seen such a large number of hostages taken by terrorists [in this region] before."

McInerney also said Washington had reason for alarm. "The question is whether it's going to roll West into Europe and into our own country," he said.

One reason something like this would be harder in America is because we have an armed citizenry. Of course, most people aren't allowed to carry guns in schools....

Wow, I hadn't read this elsewhere:

About a dozen [] hostage-takers escaped, with the Interfax new agency reporting that they split into three groups to blend in with the hostages and took refuge in a home nearby. Tank fire was heard from the area of the house, Interfax said, and gunfire rang out through the town for hours.
It's pretty surprising that some of the terrorists were able to escape, but they used a good strategy. Most hostage scenarios end with the death or capture of all the terrorists.
"They are very cruel people, we are facing a ruthless enemy," said Leonid Roshal, a pediatrician involved in the negotiations. "I talked with them many times on my cell phone, but every time I ask to give food, water and medicine to the hostages they refuse my request."



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