DUMA'S BESLAN TRAGEDY REPORT TO BE FINISHED BY LATE APRIL

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MOSCOW, March 7 (RIA Novosti) - The parliamentary commission's preliminary report on the Beslan tragedy will not be finalized before late April, a commission member and first deputy head of the State Duma Committee on CIS and Ties with Compatriots, Akhmed Bilalov, said on Monday.

"The volume of information to be processed is huge, about 100 video cassettes," Bilalov pointed out in his interview broadcasted live by the Ekho Moskvy radio station.

The Duma deputy reminded the audience that "it had taken the US Senate commission investigating the 9/11 terror attacks about one year to prepare a report. We are dealing with a similar volume of information to analyze and a comparable number of people to question."

Bilalov pointed out that "the commission had no problems regarding access to governmental officials when investigating various aspects of the Beslan terror attack."

The results of the commission's investigation will be "open for all", Bilalov said.

"The commission's main objective is to tell the people what happened, why it happened and how to avoid similar tragedies in the future; we must openly tell the people what changes need to be made both in the executive and legislative branches of power. There are too many rumors around the Beslan tragedy, and the main thing now is to separate reality from speculation," the MP emphasized.

The hostage taking tragedy that occurred in Beslan's School No. 1 in North Ossetia on September 1, 2004 entailed a toll of 330 human deaths, including 186 children. The rescue operation conducted by federal special forces saved lives of 918 people. 11 special force officers and 2 Emergencies Ministry's rescuers were killed in the operation. Over 30 officers were wounded, ten of them seriously.

In addition to the inquiry carried out by the country's law-enforcement bodies, the parliamentary commission on the Beslan tragedy is preparing its own report to determine the causes and details of this terrorist act. The commission is headed by Alexander Torshin, deputy speaker of the Federation Council (the upper house of Russian parliament).

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