• Friday, April 12, 2024
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40 dead, 100 injured in Moscow concert shooting


Gunmen attacked a rock concert in a Moscow suburb, resulting in at least 40 deaths and 100 injuries, and causing a fire in the theatre on Friday.

The attackers, dressed in camouflage uniforms, entered the building, fired shots, and threw a grenade or incendiary bomb, according to a journalist for the RIA Novosti news agency at the scene.

The Crocus City concert hall in the Krasnogorsk suburb, known for hosting international artists, quickly became engulfed in flames.

“According to preliminary information, 40 people were killed and more than 100 were injured as a result of a terrorist attack in the Crocus City Hall,” according to the FSB security service, quoted by Interfax news agency and other Russian media.

President Vladimir Putin was briefed on the incident, and a terrorist investigation has launched.

Video footage showed flames and smoke billowing from the hall, with concert-goers seen hiding or attempting to flee.

Moscow mayor Sergei Sobyanin termed it a “terrible tragedy” and canceled all public events for the weekend.

Security forces reported that armed individuals opened fire on guards and then targeted the audience.

Many sought refuge on the ground or fled when it was safe. Some escaped through the basement, while others sheltered on the roof.

The fire continued to rage, with a third of the complex ablaze. Russia’s foreign ministry condemned the attack as a “bloody terrorist attack,” while the US expressed condolences and stated there was no immediate evidence linking the incident to the conflict in Ukraine.

“There is no indication at this time that Ukraine, or Ukrainians were involved in the shooting,” US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters in Washington.

Special police forces have been deployed to the scene, and the rock band members were safely evacuated.

While Moscow has faced previous attacks, including the 2002 Moscow theatre hostage crisis, incidents often lack a clear political motive.

The US embassy had recently warned of potential extremist threats in Moscow.

However, Ukraine denied involvement in the attack, despite ongoing tensions with Russia.