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Federal Security Service: At least 40 people were killed and 100 others were injured in the terrorist attack on a concert hall in Moscow

Federal Security Service: At least 40 people were killed and 100 others were injured in the terrorist attack on a concert hall in Moscow

The number of people killed has exceeded 60, according to an update from the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation, the country's highest prosecuting authority, which was republished by Russian media on Saturday night.

The committee adds that the number of deaths so far is expected to continue to rise.

Earlier Friday evening, Russia's FSB intelligence service said at least 40 people had been killed. 145 wounded in the attack were listed. Many of the dead are said to be children.

Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova said that President Vladimir Putin wishes the wounded a speedy recovery.

Armed men fired several shots from automatic weapons and threw explosives as people were lining up to attend a popular concert Russian prog rock band Picnic. Videos show men shooting screaming people at close range.

ISIS claims responsibility

Later on Friday evening, ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack on its Telegram channel, saying its fighters had fled and were safe in their bases.

ISIS fighters attacked a large crowd of people on the outskirts of the Russian capital, Moscow, the organization wrote on its account on the Telegram application. This claim has not been confirmed by other sources.

ISIS also issued a statement through its Amaq news agency, saying that the organization attacked a large crowd and “killed and wounded hundreds” of people.

A White House spokesman said early Saturday evening, Norwegian time, that the United States had intelligence information confirming that ISIS had claimed responsibility for the attack.

Russian authorities say they are opening a terrorism investigation after the attack.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said via Telegram on Friday evening: “The whole world must condemn this heinous crime.”

On loose

Russian forces are searching for the perpetrators of the attack after the attack. It is not known how many people participated in the attack and how they managed to escape, or whether all the perpetrators fled.

But early Saturday night, Russia's Channel 112 wrote on Telegram, citing paramedics as its source, that explosives had been found taped to one of the people found dead in the concert hall. This information has not been confirmed.

Russian media showed a grainy image of two of the alleged attackers fleeing the scene in a white car.

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The Russian authorities decided to cancel all major cultural events in the country. Additional security measures have been taken at airports and railway stations in Moscow.

Chaos and panic

Russian news agency TASS reported that several people were still trapped in the burning building late Friday evening, but other media wrote that 100 people had been evacuated from the basement.

A third of the building was engulfed in flames, and images showed the entire roof in flames as helicopters flew in and dropped water on the fire. It was later reported that the roof had collapsed.

Videos posted on social media showed a state of chaos and panic in the place, with gunfire being heard, and people scattered in pools of blood outside.

Riot police and special teams of the National Guard were deployed at the concert venue in Krasnogorsk in the western part of Moscow, which can accommodate 6,200 people. There were also about fifty ambulances.

At 3 a.m. on Saturday, Norwegian time, the Moscow Region Governor's Office issued a statement saying that most of the fires at the concert venue had been extinguished.

Ukraine refuses

Before ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack, the Russians fighting for Ukraine in the border regions said they had nothing to do with the attack. The United States stated that there was no indication that Ukraine was involved. An advisor to Volodymyr Zelensky also denied Ukraine's involvement.

– Ukraine has never resorted to using terrorist methods. Everything that happens in this war will only happen on the battlefield. Zelensky's advisor Mykhailo Podolyak wrote in X.

Earlier Friday evening, before ISIS claimed responsibility, Russia requested that the United States provide information if it had specific information that Ukraine was not involved.

The White House says it sees no signs of Ukraine or Ukrainians being involved. On what do officials in Washington base their conclusions about the innocence of others in the midst of tragedy? Zakharova asked.

However, the Ukrainian intelligence service blamed Russian secret services for the attack.

– The terrorist attack in Moscow was a planned and deliberate provocation carried out by Russian intelligence services on the orders of Putin, the service wrote on Telegram before the arrival of the ISIS statement.

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Attack warning

The shooting occurred after the US Embassy warned earlier this month of a possible imminent terrorist attack in Moscow and asked Americans to stay away from crowded places.

President Vladimir Putin rejected this warning and described it as a Western attempt to intimidate people. The US warning was that extremists had “imminent” plans to attack large gatherings of people in Moscow, including concerts.

The warning, issued hours after Russia's Federal Security Service announced that Russian security services had arrested an Islamic State cell that was preparing to launch an attack on a synagogue, was echoed by several other Western embassies.

When asked by reporters on Friday night about the US Embassy's March 7 statement, US National Security Advisor John Kirby replied that the question should be directed to the US State Department. But he said:

– I do not think that the warning is related to this specific attack.

Kirby was asked whether Washington had advance knowledge of Friday's attack.

“I am not aware of any prior knowledge we have regarding this horrific attack,” Kirby replied.

– Tragedy

The mayor of the Moscow region described the incident as a great tragedy and said he sent his condolences to his relatives.

Kirby said Friday night that the images of the attack were horrific.

-The pictures are simply terrible, painful to look at. “Our thoughts go out to the victims of this horrific and horrific shooting,” Kirby said.

– There are some mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters who have not been told the news yet. He added that this will be a difficult day for them.

Kirby did not use the term condemnation when he made his statement. Nor did Norway, but Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide (AFP) told NTB on Friday evening that the images from Moscow were sensational.

– He said that every innocent human life lost is a tragedy.

He stressed that this is still an event in the development stage.

– There is a lot we don't know. “We feel for those affected,” said Eide, who spoke an hour before ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack.

International condemnations

The European Union issued a condemnation in the following terms:

The European Union is shocked and horrified by the reports of the terrorist attack. The European Union condemns any attack on civilians. “Our thoughts go out to all affected Russians,” says European Commission spokesman Peter Stano.

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A statement issued by the Elysee Palace in Paris said that French President Emmanuel Macron “condemns in the strongest terms this terrorist attack, for which ISIS claimed responsibility.”

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said she condemns what she calls a “disgusting act of terrorism.”

Meloni says the cruelty of the massacre of innocent civilians in Moscow is unacceptable.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres strongly condemned the attack in Moscow.

The Secretary-General sends his condolences to the affected families, the Russian people and the Russian government. Farhad Haq, Guterres' spokesman, said he wished the wounded a speedy recovery.

The UN Security Council also condemned the attack, describing it in a statement on Saturday evening as a “heinous and cowardly terrorist attack.”

The United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and Syria, as well as the Palestinian leadership in the West Bank, also condemned the attack, which occurred a day before the fifth anniversary of the victory over the ISIS caliphate in Syria.

Previous terrorist attacks

ISIS and other groups were previously behind several attacks in Russia. Earlier this month, Russian security services said they had foiled an attack on a synagogue in Moscow allegedly planned by an ISIS cell. Furthermore, Russian authorities reported that six alleged ISIS members were killed in Ingushetia.

In the early 2000s, Russia was rocked by a series of deadly terrorist attacks. It happened while the country was fighting separatists in the Russian province of Chechnya.

In October 2002, Chechen militants took about 800 people hostage in a Moscow theater. Two days later, Russian special forces stormed the building. 129 hostages and 41 Chechen fighters were killed. Most of the deaths were due to the gas used by special forces to stun the attackers.

In September 2004, about 30 Chechen militants took control of a school in Beslan, southern Russia. There they took more than 1,000 people hostage, including hundreds of children. The siege ended after two days in a bloodbath. More than 330 people were killed, nearly half of them children.