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93 killed and 187 others injured as gunmen attack concert hall in Russia



No fewer than 93 people including children have been killed and and 187 others injured as gunmen suspected to be terrorists attack the Crocus City Hall in Moscow, Russia.

The camouflage-clad gunmen at least five with automatic weapons on Friday night, March 22, 2024, burst into the packed concert hall in the Russian capital’s western suburbs as the audience was gathering to watch the veteran rock band Picnic, shooting into the crowd and setting off explosives that started a massive fire.

Several Russian media outlets stated that automatic weapons were used in what many have termed ‘one of the worst of attacks in Russia in years’.

At least 93 people have been confirmed killed, Russia’s Investigative Committee said on Saturday, adding that the number of victims was expected to rise further.

It was also gathered that at least 187 people including eight children were injured.

ISIL, the hardline group that once sought control over Iraq and Syria, claimed responsibility for the attack on its Telegram channel, saying the gunmen had escaped. It was not possible to independently verify the claim.

On Saturday, a spokesperson for Russia’s Investigative Committee said it was too early to say anything about the fate of the attackers, state news agency RIA reported.

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The concert hall, one of the most popular in Moscow, can hold some 6,200 people.

Alexei, a music producer, was about to settle into his seat ahead when he said he heard “several machineguns bursts” and “a lot of screams”.

“I realised right away that it was automatic gunfire and understood that most likely it’s the worst: a terrorist attack,” Alexei told the AFP news agency, declining to share his full name.

As people ran towards the emergency exits, “there was a terrible crush” with concertgoers climbing on one another’s heads to get out, he added.

Another witness, speaking to the Reuters news agency, also described the terror and panic inside the venue.

“A stampede began. Everyone ran to the escalator,” they said, declining to share their name. “Everyone was screaming; everyone was running.”

The attack comes days after Russian President Vladimir Putin told the board of the Federal Security Service that “Western structures” had been engaging in “outright blackmail” when they warned Moscow of potential terrorist attacks.

He has repeatedly warned foreign powers were seeking to sow chaos inside Russia.

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