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ISIS Claims Responsibility for Moscow, Russia Concert Hall Attack

Crocus City Hall, Moscow, Russia, the concert hall where a terrorist attack is taking places.
Crocus City Hall, Moscow, Russia, the concert hall where a terrorist attack took place, which has now been claimed by ISIS. Credit: JuliánAlejandroS. CC BY-3.0/Wikimedia Commons/JulianAlejandroS

Islamic State (ISIS) have claimed responsibility for the attack on the Crocus City Hall music venue on the outskirts of Moscow, Russia, which reportedly killed 40 people and injured as many as 100 more.

The full statement posted on its Telegram account reads “Islamic State fighters attacked a large gathering of Christians in the city of Krasnogorsk on the outskirts of the Russian capital, Moscow, killing and wounding hundreds and causing great destruction to the place before they withdrew to their bases safely.”

Russian news agencies reported an explosive blast and a fire earlier this evening (Friday, March 22). At least four people in camouflaged uniforms are said to have opened fire on audiences in a large concert hall in Moscow, Russia.

What is happening at the Russian concert hall?

At least 40 people have been killed and more than 100 injured according to Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) It is the deadliest terror attack in Russia in years, as camouflaged gunmen opened fire and detonated explosives in the Crocus City Music Hall in Moscow.

Photos showed the hall engulfed in flames, and footage began to emerge from the attack, showing at least four gunmen opening fire from automatic weapons as terrified, panicked Russian concert-goers ran for their lives.

In one of the videos, three men in camouflage gear carrying rifles fired at point blank range at bodies on the floor of the concert hall. Apparently, the attackers also detonated explosives, as the sounds of blasts could be heard in other videos of the attack.

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said the attack was a “great tragedy.” More than 70 ambulances have been dispatched to the site of the shooting and explosion. “The attackers presumably opened fire at the entrance to the building during a concert, using automatic weapons, and then a fire began in the building,” said emergency services. Authorities said that up to five people took part in the attack.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has condemned the attack “in the strongest possible terms” a spokesperson said. “The Secretary-General conveys his deep condolences to the bereaved families and the people and the Government of the Russian Federation. He wishes those injured a speedy recovery,” said deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq.

Russia’s media reports state that riot police units were sent to the area as people were being evacuated from the concert hall. The shooting at the concert hall was similar to some of Europe’s worst terrorist attacks, such as the attack on the Bataclan in Paris in November 2015. The Nord Ost terrorist attack in Moscow in 2002 will likely be recalled, wherein gunmen took hostages at a theater in one of the worst incidents in the country’s history.

Russian news agency 112, a specialist crime reporting operation, estimated the death toll to be as high as 40 while more than 100 are believed to have been wounded. It wasn’t clear if police had managed to deal with the threat by this evening, as emergency workers said they had evacuated 100 people who had been sheltering in the building’s basement.

An eyewitness told the Mash Telegram channel that there were “at least five” attackers and that they were “bearded.”

“They act like trained…fighters,” the account read. “At the moment of entering the building, the guards and people standing at the door were killed. Then they blocked the main entrance.”

“The terrorists are armed with AKM assault rifles,” the individual reported. “Some carry unloads with various ammunition. At least two of the attackers are carrying backpacks, possibly with molotov cocktails.”

Russian authorities had recently carried out a series of raids against armed Islamist militants in the region of Ingushetia, leading to pitched firefights between police and the fighters.


This is a developing story.


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