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At least 137 dead in Russian concert hall attack

Gunmen stormed Crocus City Hall near Moscow on Friday night before a concert by veteran domestic rock band Picnic

By James Hanley on 22 Mar 2024

Crocus City Hall


image © Brateevsky

At least 137 people have been killed and more than 100 wounded in an attack on a concert hall on the outskirts of Moscow.

Up to five gunmen stormed Crocus City Hall in the town of Krasnogorsk on Friday night (22 March) prior to a gig by veteran Russian rock band Picnic, who had been due to perform with a symphony orchestra.

The BBC reports that a large fire engulfed the roof of the building and Russian special forces were deployed to the scene. Four suspects have been arrested.

“Unidentified people in camouflage broke into Crocus City Hall and started shooting before the start of the concert,” says Russian state media TASS.

Media reports indicate that around 6,200 tickets had been sold for the event, although it is not clear how many people were in the venue at the time of the attack.

All entertainment and mass events have been cancelled across Russia in the wake of the incident, which is being investigated as terrorism.

“The special services are carrying out active search measures following the emergency in the Crocus complex”

“All possible measures are being taken to provide assistance to those affected as a result of the terrorist attack in the Crocus City Hall,” says a statement from Russia’s Federal Security Service, the FSB. “The special services are carrying out active search measures following the emergency in the Crocus complex.”

Two weeks ago, the US Embassy in Russia issued a security alert saying it was monitoring reports that “extremists” had “imminent plans to target large gatherings in Moscow, to include concerts”. It advised US citizens “to avoid large gatherings over the next 48 hours” in the 7 March post.

In a statement, Moscow mayor Sergei Sobyanin says: “Today, a terrible tragedy occurred in the Crocus City centre. My condolences to the loved ones of the victims. I gave orders to provide all necessary assistance to everyone who suffered during the incident.”

Kyiv says Ukraine had nothing to do with the attack.

“Let’s be straight about this, Ukraine had absolutely nothing to do with these events,” says Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak. “We have a full-scale, all-out war with the Russian regular army and with the Russian Federation as a country. Regardless of everything, everything will be decided on the battlefield.”

 


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