EU expresses condolences to Russia over Beslan

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MOSCOW, September 2 (RIA Novosti) - The European Union expressed its condolences to Russia on the first anniversary of the Beslan tragedy, and its readiness to join Russia in fighting terrorism in an official statement from EU leaders Friday.

The EU will continue to work toward strengthening cooperation with the Russian Federation in this vital area, the statement said.

The EU leadership expressed its deepest sympathies for all the victims who died or were wounded a year ago in Beslan and condemned terrorism in all its forms.

The Beslan hostage tragedy in September 2004 claimed the lives of 330 people, including 186 children. Terrorists held parents, pupils, and staff hostage for three days in a local school before troops stormed the building. In all, 918 people were rescued.

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