Seven years ago a group of armed men, mostly Ingush and Chechen Islamic militants, took over a school in Beslan, Russia that was filled with children.
Today there memorial services were held across the Russian Republic of North Ossetia-Alania honouring those that died during the incident.
The children had returned September 1, 2004 from their summer breaks ready to start a new year on The Day of Knowledge. On the first day of school parents joined their children to celebrate a new year's opportunity to learn.
The bells had just stopped ringing when about 30 armed men took over the building. The gun men killed several before taking those that were left alive hostage. More than 1,100 people were held for three days, almost 800 of them children.
They were taken to the school's gym. The building was hot and there was no food or water for the hostages.
On the third day aid workers had been allowed in to remove the bodies of the adults that had been killed during the initial seizure of the school. Several hostages were released. It appeared that a peaceful end was about to take place.
Peace was not the plan though of the militants. The building was rocked by powerful explosions leaving the gym an inferno. Russian security forces stormed the building and fought the gun men. In the aftermath 340 hostages were dead, 186 of those dead were children.
Beslan school hostage crisis
Today flowers were laid at the site of the school. Candles were lit and will continue to burn until September 3 at 1:05 p.m., the time that the tragic event ended with 334 people dead.
Many of the dead were children. Many more were injured, some disabled for life. Others still struggle seven years later to heal.