A Russian court on Friday sentenced three people to life in prison for their role in a pair of Moscow subway bombings in 2004 that killed nearly 50 people, a court spokeswoman said.
The February and August bombings terrorized the capital and came amid a series of terror attacks culminating in the September 2004 hostage taking at the school in Beslan.
Murat Shavayev, Maxim Panaryin and Tambii Khubiyev were given life sentences in a closed door hearing at the Moscow City Court, after convicting them of terrorism, murder, banditry and other charges, court spokeswoman Anna Usacheva said.
Prosecutors charged that Khubiyev and Shavayev brought detonators and explosives to Moscow and Khubiyev assembled one of the bombs, the ITAR-Tass news agency said. Panaryin's precise involvement in the attacks was not immediately clear.
RIA-Novosti said Khubiyev pleaded guilty to all the charges, while Panaryin pleaded guilty to just some. Shavayev denied all the charges, the agency said.
The Feb. 6, 2004, explosion at the Avtozavodskaya station in southern Moscow tore through a subway car during the morning rush hour, killing 42 people including the attacker and wounding more than 120, reports AP.
On Aug. 31, 2004, a female suicide bomber detonated explosive near the entrance to the Rizhskaya subway station in northern Moscow, killing eight and wounding 30.
The following day, some 30 heavily armed militants seized more than 1,000 teachers, children and parents at a school in the southern Russian town of Beslan, holding them hostage for nearly three days. The seizure ended in a hail of gunfire and explosions, killing 334 about half of them children.
The Americans came to realise that they would have to either leave the region or weaken their presence there. It is Russia that is filling the vacuum now