Linda Huang / Staff reporter

On September 1, 2004, a hostage crisis happened in Beslan school. As reported in the article “Beslan school siege” in Wikipedia, “armed terrorists took hundreds of school children and adults hostage in the Russian town of Beslan in North Ossetia”. It was considered a serious terrorist attack.

Yet even today, society is still facing unprovoked attacks by terrorist organizations. About 16 years later, another terrorist attack on a popular hotel took place in the Somali capital. Similar to before, nearly 200 innocent people were trapped in this terrorist attack and 16 people were killed. 

These terrorist attacks have always been hidden dangers in society.

The Beslan school siege was so significant that it got the attention of major organizations in the world to focus on “terrorism”. According to Wikipedia’s record in “International response to the Beslan school siege“, Secretary-General Kofi Annan, from the United Nations, further condemned the attack as a “brutal and senseless slaughter of children” and “terrorism, pure and simple”.

This hostage crisis began with a group of armed Chechen separatists in School Number One. The hostage-takers were the Riyad-us Saliheen, sent by the Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev, who demanded Russian withdrawal and recognition of the independence of Chechnya.

As reported by a staff reporter’s article “Beslan school siege: Russia ‘failed’ in 2004 massacre” in BBC, it stated that, during the crisis, “the hostages were crammed into their school sports hall beneath explosives strung from the basketball hoops. Their captors were demanding Russian troops pull out of Chechnya.” There were two deadly explosions and intense gunfire, with the deaths of 334 people, over half of whom were children. 

Pictures of child victims

In the end, only one of the hostage-takers was caught alive and put-on trial.

According to the same article in BBC, “the European Court of Human Rights has ruled that Russia failed to protect the hostages of the Beslan school siege. Officials knew an attack was imminent but did not act. And there’s no Russian official has been held responsible for the high number of deaths, which included 186 children.”

Due to this fact, Dutch Foreign Minister Ben Bot stated on behalf of the European Union in the “International response to the Beslan school siege” in Wikipedia, “We have been confronted with a deep human tragedy. Beslan shows once again that we have to do everything in our power to confront this new dimension of terrorism.”

However, those terrorist attacks were still happening in late 2020. 

As it stated in a staff reporter’s article, “Somalia: UN condemns ‘brazen terrorist attack on the beachside hotel” in UN news, “the UN in Somalia has strongly condemned this terrorist attack that took place on Sunday at the Elite Hotel in the capital Mogadishu, which reportedly killed at least 16 people and left more than 200 injured.”

UNSOM’s reaction on Twitter

The attack was the latest in a series of deadly onslaughts carried out across the Horn of Africa by Al Shabab, a militant group linked to Al Qaeda. It involved a car bomb exploded at the gates of the hotel on Lido Beach. And then, Shabab militants ran into the hotel’s compound, engaging in a four-hour gun battle with security officials.

Wreckage of the hotel after the attack

The Special Representative said in the article “Somalia: UN condemns ‘brazen’ terrorist attack on the beachside hotel” by UN news: “This abhorrent attack should not and will not deter Somalis, and the entire United Nations family reaffirms its commitment to and solidarity with all peace-loving Somalis in the face of such violence.”

Over the past 20 years, terrorism continues to pose a major threat to international peace and security. Addressing this threat is that much more difficult given the complex and constantly evolving nature of the terrorist activity.

According to Terrorism Prevention Branch’s report in the United Nations, it stated that “strong coordination and cooperation within national governments and between states and organizations at the regional and international level is essential to effectively combat terrorism, to share best practices and lessons learned and to assist with the investigation and prosecution of terrorism cases.”

To prevent the same incident as the above two terrorist attacks from happening again, everyone must mobilize in the fight against terrorism.


Beslan school siege by Wikipedia

Beslan school siege: Russia ‘failed’ in 2004 massacre

International response to the Beslan school siege

Somalia: UN condemns ‘brazen’ terrorist attack on beachside hotel

Attack on Beachside Somalia Hotel Kills at Least 16

Terrorism Prevention Branch