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Around the world prayers were said for the safe release of the children, teachers and family members attending this first day of the school year - more than a thousand of them. The prayers were not answered. Instead, after several explosions had occurred inside the school building, the Russian security services went in. By the time the slaughter had ended, more than 330 innocent people were dead, including more than 180 schoolchildren, with many more seriously injured.
After the firing stopped, John Humphrys telephoned the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams. He asked him to come on the BBC’s Today programme next morning to answer the question, “Where was God in that school?” The archbishop agreed.