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The Waco siege ended on this day 21 years ago, leaving 79 dead

The Branch Davidians was a sect that separated from the Seventh-day Adventist Church in 1955 and were led by David Koresh .

FBI SIEGES Flames engulf the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas. Source: AP/Press Association Images

THE SIEGE OF the Waco compound belonging to the religious group Branch Davidians by the US military and police took place between 28 February and 19 April 1993.

The Branch Davidians was a sect that separated from the Seventh-day Adventist Church in 1955 and were led by David Koresh.

In the run up to the siege, a local newspaper had printed a series of stories about the cult’s leader Koresh, stating that he had physically abused children in the compound and had committed statutory rape by taking multiple underage brides.

Koresh, an advocate for polygamy was married to several women from the cult’s community. It was also believed that the cult was stockpiling weapons.

Bill Clinton

Action was taken against in Waco after the newly-appointed Attorney-General Janet Reno made the decision to begin the operation to raid the compound. She made her case to the then President of the United States Bill Clinton.

He later said: ”Finally, I told her that if she thought it was the right thing to do, she could go ahead.”

President Bill Clinton gave an advance warning of the assault on the compound.

On 19 April, the dawn raid began.

Tear gas canisters and stun grenades were fired into the cult’s compound and an armoured vehicle moved in to demolish the walls.

The White House later said the blaze that took hold of the building had been started deliberately by those inside after the FBI began a dawn assault.

The FBI were later criticised for what some said were heavy-handed tactics.

The cult’s leader, Koresh was killed in the attack. Just 11 people from the compound survived.

Here are some images from the siege:

Waco Branch Davidians A person inside of the tower of the Branch Davidian compound removes a banner from the guard tower so a new one can be put in place in Waco, Texas. Source: AP/Press Association Images

FBI WACO Floodlights slice through the night sky behind the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas. Source: AP/Press Association Images

Armed Cult Workers continue to sift through the burned Branch Davidian compound Apr. 30, 1993 near Waco, Texas. Source: AP/Press Association Images

Waco Branch Davidians Source: AP/Press Association Images

Waco Branch Davidians Eleven-year-old Cleveland Wheeler participates in an Easter egg hunt next to a roadblock near the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas. Source: AP/Press Association Images

Waco Branch Davidians Star High, 6, of Waco, Texas, helps to replace the crosses in an area dedicated to the people that died during the siege of the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas. Source: AP/Press Association Images

Waco Branch Davidians Source: AP/Press Association Images

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