MOSCOW -- Shamil Basayev, the Chechen warlord who masterminded the Beslan school siege and dozens of other horrific attacks across Russia, was killed yesterday after eluding capture for more than a decade, top Russian officials said. Basayev, the most brazen and ruthless of the Chechen warlords, had taken responsibility for organizing the September 2004 hostage-taking in Beslan, where more than 330 people, half of them children, were killed when Russian forces stormed a school where they were being held. Bashir Aushev, Ingushetia's deputy prime minister, told the Interfax news agency that a large explosives-packed truck detonated as Basayev and other militants sat in cars alongside.
Sometimes you just have to admire the brutality with which Communism doles out justice.
"As a result of the blast, only pieces of two of the fighters were left," Mr. Aushev said. "Basayev was identified by fragments of his body. To the best of my knowledge, they identified him by his head."