Greek among Beslan dead

The body of an elderly ethnic Greek teacher was identified on Saturday among the hundreds of dead left behind after Friday’s massacre in a Russian school where pro-Chechen terrorists were holding over 1,000 hostages. Seventy-four-year-old Yiannis Kanidis taught physical education at the school in Beslan, North Ossetia, which was seized last Wednesday by more than 30 terrorists who took staff, pupils and parents hostage. Reports say Kanidis was shot by the gunmen when he tried to dismantle a ceiling fan in the school gym, where the hostages were being held, which had been wired to an explosive device. Kanidis’s family, who live in Beslan, say the teacher refused an offer by the terrorists to release him, in order to stay close to his pupils. At least 350 people died when Russian forces stormed the school on Friday. On Saturday, the Foreign Ministry announced that, with the help of the Church of Greece, it would provide economic aid to rebuild the Beslan school.

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