Moscow Attack Tragedy – 60 Dead | News Update

Moscow: The Investigative Committee reported on Saturday that the death toll from the gunman’s attack on a concert hall in Moscow had risen to almost 60, from an initial estimate of 40, as reported by Russian news agencies.
“At this time, the deceased’s bodies are being investigated. It has been tentatively confirmed that the terrorist attack claimed the lives of over sixty persons.” Regretfully, the Investigative Committee stated that the death toll might increase. According to a correspondent for the news agency RIA Novosti who was present, attackers wearing camouflage uniforms entered the building, started firing, and hurled an incendiary device or grenade.
The music hall known as Crocus City, located in the northern Krasnogorsk region of the Russian capital and capable of accommodating thousands of attendees, including prominent foreign performers, was rapidly engulfed in flames. As his spokesman Dmitry Peskov informed Russian news media, authorities said that a “terrorist” inquiry had been launched and that President Vladimir Putin was getting “constant” briefings on the attack. The security forces-affiliated Telegram news channels Baza and Mash displayed footage of flames and black smoke billowing from the hallway.
In other pictures, two males were walking down the corridor, and at least one victim was still on the ground at the entrance. Additionally, concertgoers were observed attempting to flee or hiding beneath seats. Citing a “terrible tragedy” during the Russian rock band Piknik’s concert, Moscow mayor Sergei Sobyanin canceled all public events for the weekend.
Between two and five persons “wearing tactical uniforms and carrying automatic weapons” began fire on security personnel at the entrance before beginning to shoot at the audience, according to security agencies cited by the news agency Interfax. The journalist from RIA Novosti was cited as saying, “People who were in the hall were led on the ground to protect themselves from the shooting for 15 or 20 minutes.” When it was safe, people began crawling out, the journalist said.

“Repugnant crime”

The emergency services ministry posted on its Telegram channel that some 100 people had fled through the theater basement and that others had sought refuge on the roof.
However, the TASS news agency stated that roughly one-third of the complex was on fire.

The “bloody terrorist attack” was described by Maria Zakharova, a spokeswoman for the Russian foreign ministry.
“This disgusting crime must be denounced by the entire international community,” she stated on Telegram.
Although the attack was deemed “terrible” by the US administration, no direct connection to the war in Ukraine was seen at this time.

Journalists in Washington were informed by US National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby that “there is no indication at this time that Ukraine, or Ukrainians were involved in the shooting.” In the event that the highest Ukrainian officials were connected to the incident, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev stated on Telegram that they “must be found and ruthlessly destroyed as terrorists”. A huge security operation was initiated around the theater and neighboring shopping mall. “I offer my condolences to the families of the dead,” stated the mayor of Moscow. According to TASS, the OMON anti-riot squad, special police units, and SOBR had been dispatched to the Crocus hall. It further stated that every member of the rock group had made a safe escape. Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Orthodox church, was “praying for peace for the souls of the dead,” according to Vladimir Legoyda, his spokesperson.

Prior alerts

Islamist organizations have previously attacked Moscow and other Russian cities, but there have also been instances where there was no obvious political motivation. The US embassy in Russia issued a warning earlier this month stating that “extremists have imminent plans to target large gatherings in Moscow,” which includes concerts. In 2002, separatist Chechen terrorists captured 912 people in the Dobrovka theater in Moscow and demanded that Russian forces leave the area.
130 persons were slain when special forces stormed the theater to break up the hostage situation. Almost all of them were suffocated by gas that the security personnel had used to take out the attackers. Russia began its military operation in Ukraine in February 2022, and since then, anti-Kremlin forces have attacked the country along its border. Both the president of Ukraine and the commanders of the Freedom of Russia Legion, who are part of the Ukrainian armed forces, denied any role in the music hall attack.

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