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Russian Pastors’ Children Confirmed Dead

Sep 8, 2004

After days of searching for them, two pastors in the Russian southern town of Beslan have now discovered that six of their eight young children died in the local school hostage drama that shocked the nation.

An official of the U.S.-backed Russian Ministries said Wednesday that brothers and pastors Taymuraz and Sergey Totiev from the Evangelical Baptist Church in Beslan were till the last moment “still hoping” to find their children alive. “Tragically, out of the eight Totiev children who were in the school, only two have survived,” said Russian Ministries Vice President Sergey N. Rakhuba.

The children of Taymuraz and Ria Totiev who were killed were identified as Larissa, 14, Luba, 12, Albina, 11, and Boris, who was 8 years old. “A daughter named Magina was found, released from the hospital, and is recovering at home,” he added.

He said the children of Sergey and Bela Totiev who died were Dzerassa, 15, and 9 year old Anna. “A son named Azamat, 12 years old, is in the hospital and is being treated for a severe eye injury,” he explained. The children are believed to have died Friday, September 3, during a gun battle between Russian forces storming the school complex and militants demanding independence for neighboring Chechnya.

More complete reports may be obtained through the websites of Slavic Gospel Association or ASSIST News Service.