MOSCOW – A Russian television network showed footage from inside the school raided by terrorists last week, depicting hooded attackers in a gymnasium crowded with hostages and strung up with explosives attached to wires.
The footage, which NTV television (search) said was from a videotape recorded by the assailants, showed what appeared to be hundreds of hostages crowded around the walls of the cramped room, many with their hands behind their heads and some fanning themselves in the heat.
Football-sized cylindrical bundles that looked like explosives were attached to wires and strings hanging from a basketball hoop and other parts of the rooms -- with one resting inside the net -- and one attacker in camouflage and a black hood stood with a boot on what NTV said was a book rigged with a detonator.
A thick red streak across the center of the floor appeared to be from blood, as if someone bleeding had been dragged across the wooden surface.
The hostages pictured included women, children and men, and NTV estimated there were some 1,000 in the gym. At one point, a voice in Russian, apparently an attacker, said "Wait, don't bring the children in here."
A woman, clad head-to-toe in black, stood in a doorway holding a pistol alongside her head, and there was footage of what appeared to be a rocket-propelled grenade launcher lying on a floor. Another assailant, dressed in black with a camouflage masked, had an automatic rifle.
NTV did not say how it had obtained the tape, which it said was probably recorded on the first day of the crisis at School No. 1 in the southern city of Beslan (search), shortly after the attackers seized the building, herded hostages into the gym and rigged explosives.
The footage showed one attacker fiddling with wires attached to what appeared to a bomb the size and shape of a small suitcase.
At the end of the brief footage, a voice is heard speaking quietly into a phone in a language that does not sound like Russian.
The bloody finale of the three-day crisis, which killed more than 350 people including hostage-takers, came after explosions of what some hostages said were bombs in the gym.