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International

Gun Attack at Moscow concert, 60 Dead

International Desk: The death toll in the concert hall in Moscow, the capital of Russia, has increased to 60. Along with that, 147 people were rescued in injured condition. Russia's Central Investigation Agency said the death toll could rise.

Meanwhile, the international terrorist group Islamic State (IS) has claimed responsibility for the attack.

According to the latest statement of the Russian investigative agency, "According to the information received so far, the bodies of 60 people have been recovered from the Crocus City Hall complex after the terrorist attack." Besides, a total of 147 people were injured. They have been sent to various nearby hospitals.'

Hundreds of people gathered to enjoy a concert by Russian band Picnic at Crocus City Hall in Moscow's Krasnogorsk region on Friday (March 22). Shortly before the start of the concert, a few gunmen opened fire in the auditorium. A bomb exploded in the building nearby.

According to the preliminary investigation, the gunmen fled from the scene immediately after the attack. None of them have been identified so far.

Crocus City Hall, located just 20 kilometers from the Kremlin, the office of the President of Russia, has a total of 6,200 seats. A CCTV footage of the hall showed people taking their seats in the auditorium shortly before the start of the concert, when gunshots shook the hall and they started running. Another footage shows several people lying unconscious in the blood.

A witness told Reuters, 'Suddenly I heard a bunch of shots from behind. Then the rush started in the auditorium. Everyone's goal was to quickly get out of the hall and towards the escalator.'

According to hospital and police sources, the death toll may increase; Because among the 147 people who were rescued alive, at least 60 are in critical condition.

Earlier in 2004, Islamist terrorists took 1,000 people hostage, including students, in a school in Moscow. Until Friday's attack, it was the biggest "operation" by Islamist terrorists in Russia.

Alexander Bortnikov, head of the Federal Security System, Russia's central security agency, told Reuters that President Vladimir Putin had been briefed on the attack and the damage at Crocus City Hall.

IS issued a statement claiming responsibility hours after the Crocus City Hall attack. The group's spokesman, the Amaq agency, said in a statement on the social media site Telegram: "IS fighters attacked in Moscow, killing hundreds of people, and managed to return safely to their base after causing extensive destruction at the scene."

Meanwhile, US intelligence officials claimed that they had received information about the attack from intelligence sources in advance and had warned the Russian government. An official told Reuters, 'We had a glimpse of a possible attack. I also duly warned the Russian government.

Officials at Russia's central security agency, the FSB, also acknowledged that the US intelligence agency had issued the warning two weeks ago. But Russian officials said a possible IS attack on a synagogue in Moscow had been foiled a few hours before the message.

The Russian government has not yet issued an official statement in response to Friday's attack. But Dmitry Medvedev, the country's former president and deputy head of the country's top security agency, the Russian Security Council, said in an immediate response on social media Telegram, "The attackers must be found and brutally destroyed." Source: Reuters, Anadolu Agency

Sun News/NJ

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