At least 60 killed in shooting at Moscow concert hall

Photo: Vladimir Rasulov / Kommersant / Sipa USA / Vida Press

Photo: Vladimir Rasulov / Kommersant / Sipa USA / Vida Press

At least 60 people have been killed and over 100 more injured in a shooting at a concert hall in the Moscow suburb of Krasnogorsk on Friday evening, the Russian Investigative Committee has confirmed.

The death toll, which Telegram channel 112 put at 82 on Saturday morning, continued to rise overnight as a massive law enforcement operation continued around the Crocus City Hall.

The attack on concert goers waiting to see popular band Picnic perform, was carried out by multiple armed men dressed in combat fatigues, according to state news agency RIA Novosti.

The Moscow concert hall shooters are still at large, the Russian National Guard said in a statement on Friday evening, adding that its officers are currently evacuating civilians from the concert hall building and searching for suspects.

Eye witnesses also described an explosion going off at the concert hall before the shooting, which caused the fire that led the concert hall’s roof to partially cave in, according to state-run news agency TASS.

Firefighters attending the scene reportedly had to wait for the arrival of special forces before entering the building to extinguish the ensuing fire. Firefighting helicopters were scrambled to the scene to tackle the blaze.

Four of the perpetrators reportedly fled the scene according to Baza. Other media reported that several others involved in the shooting barricaded themselves into the building.

A police dragnet has been set up around the area according to SHOT, in an attempt to apprehend the escaped shooters.

The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation said that the number of dead and injured in the attack is still being clarified, while the Federal Security Service (FSB) confirmed the incident in a statement and stressed that law enforcement agencies were “taking all necessary measures.”

On 7 March, the US Embassy in Russia warned of a heightened threat of terror attacks in Moscow in places of mass gatherings, including concert venues. Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin has ordered the cancelation of all cultural and sporting events planned in the Russian capital over the weekend, SHOT reported.

Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, has said that the terror attack had nothing to do with Ukraine.

A representative of the Russian Volunteer Corps (RVC), a paramilitary group of Russian fighters based in Ukraine, has categorically denied the group’s involvement in the attack.

“Obviously, we have nothing to do with this,” a RVC representative told Novaya Europe.

Former State Duma Deputy Ilya Ponomaryov told Novaya Europe that the Freedom of Russia Legion he represents was in no way involved with the terrorist attack in Moscow, but thinks the authorities may still try to blame them. “I think we will be blamed for this, but it’s obvious that no forces that work with us are in any way involved in any actions directed against civilians. It is no less obvious that what has been done has been done by Putin.”

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