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Participants in the assault tell theirstory
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, 27 2002
The defeat of Barayev’s gang the point of view of participants in the assault
From television channel ‘Rossiya’, on the program ‘News of the Week’

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‘Alfa’ and ‘Vityazya’ commandos spoke with unprecedented frankness during a meeting with reporters:
Our group moved surreptitiously to the building from the hospital side. Onceinside, we took up our starting positions and moved along the corridor. Fromthe street side there was a large poster, and just around the corner we met resistance automatic fire, and a grenade was tossed at us.
We returned fire, killing a terrorist in the hallway. Whenwe started to enter the room where Barayev and his associates gave their press conference, we met automatic weapons fire. Wefired a few bursts and used two tear gas grenades.
Three groups from the basement went into action. Prior to entering, we already heard shooting. Wegot the command to go in. Wewent in, and the first thing we saw was a terrorist. Hewas clearly visible, and had a weapon aimed at us. Hewas 15meters away, and already raising his weapon and shooting. Theburst went into the glass (of the windows). Inliterally seconds we dashed 15meters and got to the doors and went into the auditorium. Grenades flew from the right side, from the lobby.
We entered the hall in two groups: from the direction of the stage and the auditorium entrance. Theterrorists who were on the stage began to show some resistance. Thiswas suppressed immediately, in seconds. Thegroup went in and opened fire.
All terrorists, of course, were armed all of them, to the very last one. Inthe auditorium, literally by the entrance doors, Istill cannot hear very well, just to the right there was sitting a woman, all dressed all in black and with a (bomb) belt. Inone hand she had a gun, and in her other hand was a grenade. Shetook a shot in our direction. Shewas, well, naturally, she was neutralized, destroyed. Oneof our guys grabbed the grenade from her hand. Ithad no ring.
From the two groups we started to disperse around the hall. Onthe right side once again were two terrorists, who fired at us, from assault rifles, but thank God that it turned out okay: our group works pretty well. Fromthe next door a group entered, the same group that was in movie projection room, the ones who got the tear gas. Oneof the terrorists pops out from there and he was killed immediately. Iwould like to mention that our group worked with great professionalism.
There was the huge probability of an explosion from one of the suicide belts. Thiswas evident when we went in and saw the woman sitting there ready for us. Shehad a belt on, but let me say: she had a pistol in one hand and a grenade in the other. Shedid not have enough time to let it go from her hand, because we work very fast.
The commandos managed without any losses. Acouple got wounded, and a few got shell shock. Whenwe were cutting holes in the poster (for air circulation), on television they reported that supposedly terrorists the throwing up the white flag. Webandaged our unit chief, who was wounded by shrapnel. Theterrorists were quite seriously prepared, and their weapons and equipment were decent.
The volume of fire was great, but in the building, the premises, the auditorium, there where a large number of hostages. Thewhole auditorium can you imagine how that was? Westill had other places to work through. Naturally, some people went in, our people went in there to save the maximum number of our citizens, all the hostages in the auditorium and in the building in general. Insuch a situation we had to work well. Why? Because we had no time.
 
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