ISIS claims 60 killed in Moscow attack Ukraine denies involvement and widespread international condemnation

More than 60 people were killed and 115 injured in a mass shooting Friday evening at a concert hall on the outskirts of the Russian capital. Authorities have launched an investigation into the terror incident, and Kiev has denied any link. The attack, which was claimed by Islamic State, and Washington said it had warned Moscow in recent weeks of a terrorist attack on its territory, has prompted international condemnation of the attack.

Russian security confirmed they were searching for the attackers, but did not say whether the suspects were still in the building. The investigating team said, “The bodies of the dead are being examined and the death toll is likely to rise,” officials said. Rise.”

On Saturday, Russian President Vladimir Putin held talks with law enforcement and rescue officials after the attack, and Russian news agencies reported receiving statements from Putin's security services, intelligence group, National Guard and officials from the Kremlin. Ministers of Home Affairs, Health and Emergency Situations.

Islamic State, which has repeatedly targeted Russia, said in a statement on Telegram that its fighters had “attacked a large crowd (…) near the Russian capital Moscow” and that its fighters were “in retreat”. safely to their sites”

The Federal Security Service (FSB) said the “initial death toll in the terrorist attack inside the Crocus City Hall complex has reached 40,” as reported by local news agencies.

Health Minister Mikhail Murashko later announced that 115 people, including five children, had been taken to hospital.

A terrible crime

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova condemned the attack as a “bloody terrorist attack” and a “terrible crime,” while the country's main criminal investigation team announced that it had “opened a criminal investigation into a terrorist act.”

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The attack, which Russian media began reporting around 8:15pm (15:30 GMT), was carried out by several armed men at the Crocus City Hall, a concert venue in Krasnogorsk, on the northwest outskirts of the capital.

A journalist from Agence France-Presse saw the building engulfed in flames, with columns of cane rising from its roof, and police and emergency services heavily mobilized.

Alexey, a music producer who was in the dressing room at the time of the attack, told AFP, “Just before kick-off, we suddenly heard a lot of machine-gun fire, a woman screaming, and then a lot of screaming.” That he saw the crowd trying to escape.

According to a journalist at the RIA Novosti public news agency, individuals dressed in camouflage clothing entered the concert hall and threw a “hand grenade or firebomb” before opening fire.

“People in the hall threw themselves on the ground to defend themselves from the gunfire for 15 to 20 minutes, then they crawled out. Many managed to get out,” the journalist said.

Control the fire

According to emergency services, the fire spread to about 13,000 square meters of the building before it was brought under control. But as of 1 a.m. Saturday (23:00 GMT Friday), the fire was still burning, the ministry said, and it was deploying helicopters in firefighting operations.

Russian TV reported that the roof of the building had partially collapsed. It is not known how many people may have been trapped inside.

Strengthening security measures

Dmitry Peskov, the president's spokesman, said Putin was “constantly” receiving updates on the attack and had been informed “from the first minutes” it happened.

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Channels “Pasa” and “Mash” posted videos on Telegram of getting close to the police, hiding behind seats or leaving the concert hall.

The capital's mayor, Sergei Sobyan, announced the cancellation of all public events. Major museums and theaters in the capital also announced they would close their doors. Security has also been stepped up, particularly at airports, according to Russian television.

There was widespread international reaction among those who condemned the attack, the Russian people, the families of the victims and mourners. Below are the most important reactions:

Ukraine

Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to the Ukrainian president, confirmed that his country, which has faced a Russian military offensive for two years, had “nothing to do” with the attack.

For its part, Ukrainian military intelligence said the “terrorist attack in Moscow was a premeditated and planned provocation by Russian special services on the orders of (Vladimir) Putin,” considering its goal to justify and mobilize serious attacks against Ukraine. Russians.

The “Freedom of Russia”, a group of Russian fighters fighting alongside Ukraine, confirmed in a statement that it was “not engaged in corps combat with peaceful Russians”, accusing Russian security forces of planning the attack.

United Nations

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres strongly condemned the “terrorist attack” in Moscow, his spokesman Farhan Haq said in a statement.

United States

The White House offered its condolences, and US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said, “We extend our condolences to the victims of this horrific attack.”

France

President Emmanuel Macron “strongly condemned the terrorist attack claimed by ISIS.” The Elysee Palace said it was “following the situation closely,” and that “France expresses its solidarity with the victims, their loved ones and the entire Russian people.”

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Italy

Prime Minister Georgia Meloni said in a statement that “the brutality of the massacre of innocent civilians in Moscow is unacceptable,” expressing her “full solidarity with the victims and their families.”

Spain

Spain's foreign ministry expressed its “shock” at the attack, stressing that it “condemns any form of violence”.

European union

“The European Union is shocked and appalled by the reports of a terrorist attack at Crocus City Hall in Moscow. The European Union condemns all attacks on civilians,” said EU spokesman Peter Stano.

Israel

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz said on stage X, “We are saddened by the tragic events that took place this evening in Moscow, and we are thinking of the families of the victims and the feelings of all those affected.”

Palestinian Authority

The Palestinian president expressed his “strong condemnation and condemnation of the attack”. It “reaffirmed President Mahmoud Abbas' stance of rejecting terrorism.

Saudi Arabia

The Saudi Arabian Foreign Ministry said on Platform X that it “strongly condemns and condemns the attack”.

United Arab Emirates

The UAE Foreign Ministry issued a statement in which it “strongly condemned these criminal acts” and expressed its “sincere condolences and sympathies to the Russian government and friendly Russian people”.

Venezuela

“We express our support to President Vladimir Putin and raise our voice to categorically reject any act of violence,” said Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

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