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Gunmen Storm Concert in Moscow Killing at Least 40 and Injuring Over 100

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Gunmen Storm Concert in Moscow Killing at Least 40 and Injuring Over 100

Gunmen in camouflage clothing opened fire with automatic weapons on spectators at a concert in the Crocus City Hall near Moscow on Friday, killing at least 40 and injuring over 100, according to Russia’s FSB security service.

In one of the bloodiest such attacks in Russia in years, at least five gunmen were seen in unverified recordings firing repeatedly at screaming crowds cowering in the concert hall as Soviet-era rock band “Picnic” was due to perform.

The 6,200-seat music hall in a district west of Moscow, near a retail mall known as Crocus City, was sold out for the event.

Other camera footage showed the men shooting individuals below what appeared to be the entry sign to Crocus City Hall. People laying motionless in pools of blood outside the hall were also visible.

“Suddenly, there were booms behind us—shots. A burst of firing – I’m not sure what,” one witness told Reuters, requesting anonymity.

“A stampede started. “Everyone ran to the escalator,” the witness stated. “Everyone was screaming; everyone was running.”

Gunmen Storm Concert in Moscow Killing at Least 40 and Injuring Over 100

Flames shot into the sky, and plumes of black smoke rose above the venue as hundreds of blue lights from rescue cars flashed in the night, according to Reuters photos and video.

Helicopters attempted to put out the fire and evacuated approximately 100 individuals from the basement, according to Russian media reports. State news agency RIA reported that the venue’s roof was collapsing. According to Russian media, a second bomb occurred at the location, and some of the shooters locked themselves inside.

The assailants’ identities were not immediately evident. No group had yet taken responsibility. Russia’s foreign ministry described it as a “bloody terrorist attack”.

Two weeks ago, the US embassy in Russia warned that “extremists” were preparing an attack in Moscow.

Gunmen Storm Concert in Moscow Killing at Least 40 and Injuring Over 100

The embassy’s warning came several hours after the FSB announced that it had averted an attack on a Moscow synagogue by a cell of the terrorist Sunni Muslim group Islamic State.

President Vladimir Putin, who was re-elected for a sixth term on Sunday, has sent thousands of troops into Ukraine in 2022 and has repeatedly warned that numerous entities, including Western nations, are attempting to foment disorder within Russia.

The Kremlin said that Putin is receiving daily information on the massacre in Moscow.

“Vladimir Putin was informed about the beginning of the shooting in the first minutes of what happened in Crocus City Hall,” the Kremlin said in a statement.

“The president is continually informed about what is happening and the steps being taken by the relevant services. “The head of state issued all necessary instructions,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated in Moscow.

Following the incident, Russia increased security at airports, transit hubs, and throughout the city, a sprawling metropolis of nearly 21 million people.

Gunmen Storm Concert in Moscow Killing at Least 40 and Injuring Over 100

“A terrible tragedy occurred in the shopping centre Crocus City today,” Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin stated. “I am sorry for the loved ones of the victims.”

The White House stated that the photographs of the shooting were difficult to see, while Germany’s foreign ministry labeled them “horrific.”

“…Our thoughts are obviously going to be with the victims of this terrible, terrible shooting attack,” said White House spokesman John Kirby.

The German foreign ministry stated on X that “the background must be clarified as soon as possible.” Our heartfelt sympathies go out to the families of the victims.”

“The entire world community must condemn this heinous crime,” stated Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova. “All efforts are being thrown at saving people.”

In a Telegram video message, Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak stated that Kyiv “had absolutely nothing to do with these events,” while Kirby stated that there was “no indication at this time that Ukraine, or Ukrainians, were involved in the shooting.”

Zakharova questioned how the United States knew this and suggested that Washington either promptly pass any information it had to Moscow or refrain from making such claims.

“On what basis do officials in Washington draw any conclusions in the midst of a tragedy about someone’s innocence?” Zakharova spoke.

Source: Reuters

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