Dozens of near-naked children fled the Russian siege school amid explosions and gunfire today and special forces stormed in to end the stand-off.
Attack and transport helicopters hovered over the building after a series of explosions appeared to bring down the school roof where the 1,000 hostages where being held.
Special forces were seen entering the school in the North Ossetian town of Beslan.
Russian news agencies said the attack began when soldiers attempted to remove the bodies of people who were killed outside the school in the trouble Caucasus region when suicide gunmen took it over on Wednesday.
The presumed Chechen gunmen and women inside the school then opened fire on the soldiers.
Children, most in their underwear began fleeing the building – some covered in blood.
Ambulance rushed the injured away from the scene.
Militants were said to be mingling with the children in an attempt to flee the siege.
One man was shown hugging two children, lifting them up in his arms.