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60 killed, 100 injured in deadly assault at Moscow concert venue

Islamic State (ISIS) claims responsibility
10:03 AM Mar 23, 2024 IST | GK NEWS SERVICE
60 killed  100 injured in deadly assault at moscow concert venue
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New Delhi, March 23, 2024: Gunmen launched a deadly assault at a crowded concert venue on the outskirts of Moscow, leaving a devastating toll in their wake, according to Russian intelligence. The attack, which occurred at Crocus City Hall, claimed the lives of at least 60 individuals and left over 100 wounded including children and women, Russian Intelligence said.

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Multiple assailants, dressed in camouflage, stormed into Crocus City Hall during a rock concert, opening fire on the unsuspecting crowd. Terrifying video footage captured the chaos inside as concertgoers scrambled for cover while the gunmen indiscriminately fired upon them. Video evidence from the scene depicted the harrowing aftermath, with smoke billowing from the besieged concert hall.

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The scene quickly descended into pandemonium as explosions and gunfire echoed through the venue. A raging fire engulfed part of the complex, causing a section of the roof to collapse. Russian authorities, including the National Guard, swiftly mobilized to apprehend the attackers, who remain unidentified and are believed to have escaped in a white vehicle.

Islamic State claimed responsibility

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Amidst the turmoil, the Islamic State (ISIS) claimed responsibility for the heinous act through its affiliated channels, although evidence supporting the claim was not provided. The group's history of falsely attributing attacks raised scepticism among security experts; however, a US official has told CBS, the BBC's US partner, that it has intelligence confirming the IS claim that it carried out the attack.

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CNN reported: ISIS has claimed responsibility for an attack at a popular concert venue complex near Moscow Friday that left at least 40 dead and more than 100 wounded after assailants stormed the venue with guns and incendiary devices.

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The terror group took responsibility for the attack in a short statement published by ISIS-affiliated news agency Amaq on Telegram on Friday. The group did not provide evidence to support the claim.

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Prior to this incident, Russian security forces thwarted an alleged ISIS plot targeting a synagogue in Moscow, underscoring ongoing threats posed by extremist elements.

In the wake of the tragedy, Ukraine denied any involvement, affirming its commitment to resolving conflicts through peaceful means. International attention turned to the White House, which pledged to gather further information on the situation.

Updates on the situation are being regularly provided to President Vladimir Putin, according to his spokesperson Dmitry Peskov. "The president is receiving constant updates from all pertinent services regarding the unfolding events and the actions being implemented," Peskov informed Russian news agencies.

Meanwhile, Russia's ombudsman, Moskalkova, described the shooting as an "act of terrorism," as reported by RIA Novosti. Moscow mayor Sergei Sobyanin, in response, announced the cancellation of all public events scheduled for the weekend in the Russian capital reflecting the somber mood engulfing the city in the wake of the attack.

Reactions to the Moscow Attack

The US embassy in Moscow issued a statement expressing shock and extending sincere condolences to the Russian people. It advised US citizens to avoid the affected area.
Earlier, the embassy had warned of potential terror threats targeting large gatherings in Moscow, including concerts, urging Americans to steer clear of such events.

Russian President Vladimir Putin criticized the embassy's warnings, describing them as provocative and akin to blackmail.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres strongly condemned the terrorist attack, offering condolences to the affected families and wishing a speedy recovery to the injured.

The French and German foreign ministries expressed horror at the attack, extending condolences to the victims and their families while urging a swift investigation into the incident.

Dmitry Medvedev, Russia's former president and current deputy chairman of the security council, called for the perpetrators to be ruthlessly pursued and eliminated, especially if they were linked to the Kyiv regime. Dmitry Medvedev said on the Telegram app: "If those responsible for the attack are identified as Ukrainian, they must all be located and decisively dealt with as terrorists."

Ukraine vehemently denied any involvement in the attack, with presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak rejecting accusations and cautioning against using the incident to escalate conflicts.

Mykhailo Podolyak stated on his Telegram channel: "In relation to the events at Crocus City in the Russian suburbs, involving shooting and terrorist actions by unidentified individuals, let's clarify: Ukraine has absolutely no association with these events."

Similarly, US National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby emphasized to reporters that there was no indication of Ukrainian involvement in the shooting: "At this moment, there is no evidence suggesting any connection between Ukraine or Ukrainians and the shooting."

The US embassy reiterated its shock at the attack, with White House National Security Council John Kirby expressing solidarity with the victims.

Yulia Navalnaya, widow of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, described the attack as a "nightmare in Crocus" and called for all those involved to be brought to justice.

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