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Gunmen kill at least 40 in attack at concert hall near Moscow – state news agency

Gunmen kill at least 40 in attack at concert hall near Moscow – state news agency
Ambulances arrive near the burning Crocus City Hall concert venue following a shooting in Krasnogorsk, outside Moscow, Russia, 22 March 2024. (Photo: EPA-EFE / MAXIM SHIPENKOV)

At least 40 people were killed and more than 100 injured when five gunmen dressed in camouflage opened fire with automatic weapons at people at a concert in the Crocus City Hall near Moscow, in one of the worst such attacks on Russia in years.

Flames leapt into the sky and plumes of black smoke rose above the venue.

Russian media reported a second blast at the venue and there were reports that some of the gunmen had barricaded themselves somewhere in the building.

The shooting appeared to have begun at a concert of the band “Picnic”.

“Suddenly there were bangs behind us – shots. A burst of firing – I do not know what,” one witness who asked not to be named told Reuters.

“A stampede began, everyone ran to the escalator,” the witness said. “Everyone was screaming, everyone was running.”

The shooting began days after President Vladimir Putin was re-elected for a new six-year term and as Russia is prosecuting a war with Ukraine.

State news agency Tass cited Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) as saying 40 people had been killed and more than 100 wounded.

The FSB said all necessary measures were being taken.

It was not immediately clear who the gunmen were. Russian news agencies said 70 ambulance crews had been sent to the scene.

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

Russia tightened security at airports and stations and across the capital – a vast urban area of over 21 million people. Putin has yet to comment in public.

Russia’s foreign ministry said it was a “bloody terrorist attack”.

“The entire world community is obliged to condemn this monstrous crime,” Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said. “All efforts are being thrown at saving people.”

Shooting people

In one unverified video posted on social media, men with automatic weapons were shown firing repeatedly at screaming civilians, including women, who were cowering below what looked like an entrance sign to “Crocus City Hall”.

The White House said on Friday that images of shooting in the Russian capital were hard to watch.

“The images are just horrible and just hard to watch and our thoughts obviously are going to be with the victims of this terrible, terrible shooting attack,” said White House spokesperson John Kirby.

The US embassy in Russia warned earlier this month that “extremists” had imminent plans for an attack in Moscow.

It issued its warning several hours after the FSB, the main successor to the Soviet-era KGB, said it had foiled an attack on a synagogue in Moscow by a cell of the Sunni Muslim group Islamic State.

Gallery

Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Niki Moore says:

    There is also a possibility that Putin has set this up to terrify his own people and create an excuse for a ‘security clampdown’. If you think this is impossible, read the book ‘Killer in the Kremlin’ by John Sweeney. Putin has done far worse. Even if one incident in that book is true (and there are heinous acts in every chapter) then Putin is sub-human.

    • Hidden Name says:

      Putin is most assuredly sub human, however that sounds like a conspiracy theory of note. Even though I would not put it passed him, I don’t think that’s the case. He really doesn’t need a reason to clamp down. He has been doing that aggressively since the start of the Ukraine war.

  • Stefan Gottlieb says:

    ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack

  • Geoff Coles says:

    I have read elsewhere that ISIS claimed responsibility and the USA said subsequently it was possible

  • Troy Marshall says:

    Islamic State have claimed responsibility. Putin helped Syrian President Bashar al-Assad out in 2015 who was fighting a civil war against IS.

    • Gavin Knox says:

      Will Russia now feet the pain Israel feels? Undoubtedly no, if not the the selfie theory could have value, will pandora now sympathizers with the victims, the Russian politburo or the now soon to be victimized poor islamists who are allegedly already in custody?… she has a huge moral dilemma, for certain

  • Eggie S says:

    Forty people killed and over 100 injured – horrible, past horrible.
    By comparison I shudder to think of the full implications of what happened on October 7 last year – an order of magnitude more horrible.

  • Garth Gething says:

    I feel for minister pandora – who side will she take this time, religious terrorists or putin? Between a rock and a very hard place!

    • Dietmar Horn says:

      Non-aligned?

    • Kenneth FAKUDE says:

      Not really Garth, Ukraine is an international recognized state that took all the actions taken by Pandor’s office on its own, perhaps with a little help from western allies.
      Palestinians have now and the same western allies to Ukraine and Israel against them.
      Ramaphosa braved the missiles and went to Kiev, whilst there he was afforded to present his condolences to the Bucha massacre victims and families which are documented war crimes by Russia.
      He went to Russia and in his speech emphasized dialogue and respect of human rights law, respect of territorial sovereignity with Ukraine as the subject.
      Isis is not a state or a body that is covered on any statute, Russia will be better off using it’s military power dealing with that than attacking Ukraine and doing what Israel is doing in Palestine.
      Pandor can not intervene on behalf of any consequences Russia suffers on actions it took by choice.
      If we study the UAE, Siri Lanka, Armenia and others they tightened their visa regulations to block floating Russians to avoid secondary sanctions and keep their relations with the west whilst continuing with the normal relations with Russia which existed prior to the war.
      The Lady R issue if proven would have been a serious problem because it would have contributed in Putin’s unprovoked war and occupation of Ukraine.
      Past relationships and agreements cannot be penalized for a present war.
      Pandor has done nothing wrong yet, no questions to answer even in our legislature.

  • Beyond Fedup says:

    Niki – it is certainly a possibility as the evil Putin and his diabolical FSB was behind the Moscow apartment building and the Moscow theatre bombing that killed hundreds. He used that as a pretext to launch the 2nd genocidal Chechnyian war, knowing that the population would wholeheartedly support him. Whilst ISIS have claimed responsibility, he and wicked Kremlin are trying very hard to invent and blame Ukraine as a pretext to further murder, destruction etc, knowing that he will have the support of the Russian population. Pity the poor innocents who were murdered which is so much more than what he feels when he murders thousands of Ukrainians. As for our vile, rotten, hypocritical and duplicitous anc government, they trip over themselves in the rush to condemn the killings and offer their deepest condolences BUT do the opposite for Ukraine, Israel etc. Their silence and double standards speak volumes. We are dealing with veritable scum and low lives.

    • Kenneth FAKUDE says:

      Don’t insult clean government representatives who are doing their jobs.
      Putin’s suspected false flags have nothing to do with foreign affairs, perhaps intelligence can probe and see how it affects our security.
      Israel was an ally together Palestine and have an embassy in our country.
      By declaring war with Hamas and not providing any measures to protect Palestinians but included them in their enemy declaration tones, created a problem.
      They withdrew their diplomat this cutting any communication with domestic diplomats even before the ICJ case.
      The Palestinians availed themselves and sought assistance.
      A lot of hot air is being passed about Iran doing this and with the ANC, if unproven it becomes one of those mudslinging tones passed as facts.
      It is crystal clear that the Zionist Israel government is not representing the interests of Jews or Palestinians as all have been bombed in Gaza but were never declared as elements of war.
      Families of journalists and UN representatives cry when they read such comments like yours because those people were killed by bombs whilst doing their jobs and they are protected by international law during conflicts.
      Even the biggest war coward will not attack unarmed civillians,block food and water, medicine and humatarian aid to victims.
      No sane person can support the actions of both Hamas and the Israel government.
      We sympathize with all the victims of these evil actions they never asked for.

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