Gun Fire Terrorism in Moscow!
People mourn at the Crocus City Hall concert venue following a terrorist attack in Krasnogorsk, outside Moscow, Russia, 23 March 2024. EFE/EPA/MAXIM SHIPENKOV

Gun Fire Terrorism in Moscow!


Moscow, Mar 23 (EFE).-

A terror attack on a concert hall on the outskirts of Moscow has killed at least 133 people, Russian officials said Saturday.

Gunmen opened fire on Friday night at the 6,200-seat Crocus City Hall in the city of Krasnogorsk as people gathered for a sold-out gig by popular Russian rock band Picnic.

Initial reports in the immediate aftermath of the attack said that more than 40 people had died, but Russia’s Investigative Committee (IC) on Saturday afternoon raised the number of fatalities to 133.

“As the rubble was being removed in the concert hall of the Crocus City Hall, the number of people killed in the terrorist attack has risen to 133,” an IC statement said, according to the official Tass news agency.

Former Trump White House adviser Peter Navarro (L) speaks with the media near the correctional center, before reporting to the Federal Correctional Institution in Miami, Florida, USA, 19 March 2024. EFE/EPA/CRISTOBAL HERRERA-ULASHKEVICH CRISTOBAL HERRERA

The death toll could still rise as emergency efforts were still ongoing, the statement said.

Most of the at least 121 wounded were being treated in hospitals in Moscow and the surrounding region.

The assailants used “a flammable liquid” to set fire to the concert hall, the IC said. Photos showed much of the building later engulfed in flames.

The victims died of “gunshot wounds and of poisoning” from smoke inhalation, the statement added.

The Islamic State terrorist group claimed responsibility for the attack in a message on Telegram late Friday.

RIA Novosti news agency reported that one of its journalists had been at the venue and saw at least three unmasked gunmen wearing camouflage entering the hall a few minutes before 8 pm, shooting people at close range and throwing incendiary bombs.

The blaze had mostly been extinguished Saturday morning, Moscow Region Governor Andrey Vorobyov said on Telegram, adding that the roof had collapsed.

Meanwhile, the Federal Security Service (FSB) said 11 people have been arrested in connection with the attack.

FSB Director Alexander Bortnikov told Russian President Vladimir Putin that four of the alleged terrorists who took part in the attack were among the detainees. The suspects were arrested in the Bryansk region, bordering Ukraine.

According to Russian security services, the assailants intended to cross the border into Ukraine where they have “contacts”.

On Saturday afternoon, Putin delivered a statement in which he expressed his condolences to the victims and their families, and also appeared to suggest that Ukraine was behind the attack.

“They tried to hide and moved towards Ukraine, where, according to preliminary data, a window was prepared for them on the Ukrainian side to cross the state border,” the Russian president said.

He said the “terrorists, murderers and non-humans” responsible “face one unenviable fate – retribution and oblivion. They have no future.”

Putin called on the Russian people to remain united, saying “no one will be able to sow poisonous seeds of discord, panic and discord.”

“Russia has repeatedly gone through difficult, sometimes unbearable trials, but has become even stronger. It will be so now,” he said.

Ukrainian presidential advisor Mikhailo Podolyak dismissed Putin’s and the FSB’s claims, insisting that Ukraine will respond to “Russia’s aggression (…) on the battlefield.”

“The versions of Russian special services regarding Ukraine are absolutely untenable and absurd,” he added.

Several nations, including Spain, Germany, Italy, China, and India have condemned the attack, while the EU said it was “shocked and appalled”, adding that the bloc “condemns any attacks against civilians”.

Although the White House or State Department of the United States have yet to comment, the US embassy in Moscow issued a statement on Friday night saying it was “horrified” by the reports, offering its “sincere condolences to the Russian people” and urging US citizens in the Russian capital to avoid the area.

Earlier this month, the US and Western countries had issued terror warnings and told their citizens not to attend public gatherings in Russia.

The US had shared with Russia the information it had received about an impending terrorist attack in Moscow, the White House told RIA Novosti. EFE


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