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Moscow terror attack: ISIS claims responsibility for fatal shooting at Crocus City Hall

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ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack on a Moscow concert hall on Friday, reports say (Image: X)

ISIS has now claimed responsibility for a major terrorist attack on a concert hall in Moscow, Russia, on Friday night.

According to reports, ISIS has claimed the attack was specifically attempting to target a gathering of Christians.

Several gunmen burst into Crocus City Hall on Friday and sprayed the crowd with gunfire, killing at least 40 people and injuring more than 100 others. The assailants also set fire to the large concert venue, causing the roof to completely collapse.

ISIS has claimed the gunmen who carried out the attack were able to escape. Russian officials have not yet commented on the status of the attackers.

The incident comes just 15 days after Russia‘s Federal Security Service (FSB) said it prevented an attack on a Moscow synagogue by ISIS.

READ MORE: Moscow concert hall horror – Graphic clip shows terrorists firing into crowd

An apparent terrorist attack at a club/shopping center in Moscow before a performance started. Dozens wounded and dead. There was also an explosion and the building is on fire.
Early videos show multiple men (3, per state media) in camo shooting rifles. pic.twitter.com/WCRmznrldq

— Aric Toler (@AricToler) March 22, 2024

The FSB said on March 7 that members of an Islamic State cell had been planning “to commit a terrorist act against one of the Jewish religious institutions in Moscow,” local news outlets reported.

The attackers had opened fire during the attempted arrest and were “neutralized by return fire,” the FSB said.

Friday’s terrorist attack also comes days after Russian President Vladimir Putin cemented his grip on power in a highly orchestrated electoral landslide.

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin has described Friday’s attack as a “huge tragedy,” which state authorities are investigating as terrorism. The attack, which left the concert hall in flames with a collapsing roof, was the deadliest in Russia in years and came as the country’s war in Ukraine dragged into a third year.

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A group of unidentified men, ranging from two to five people, dressed in tactical gear and armed with automatic weapons, opened fire on the guards at the entrance of the concert hall. They then began shooting at the audience in the foyer. #Moscow pic.twitter.com/QjHU0DmW6A

— Russian Market (@runews) March 22, 2024

The assailants threw explosives, triggering the massive blaze at the hall, which can accommodate 6,000, according to Russian news outlets. Video from outside showed the building on fire, with a huge cloud of smoke rising through the night sky. The street was lit up by the blinking blue lights of dozens of firetrucks, ambulances and other emergency vehicles, as several fire helicopters buzzed overhead to dump water on the blaze.

The attack took place as crowds gathered for a performance by the famous Russian rock band Picnic. Russian news reports said concertgoers were being evacuated, but that an unknown number could have been trapped by the blaze.

The prosecutor’s office said several men in combat fatigues entered the concert hall and fired on concertgoers.

Repeated volleys of gunfire could be heard in videos posted by Russian media and on Telegram channels. One showed two men with rifles moving through the venue. Another showed a man inside the auditorium and saying the assailants had set it on fire, as gunshots rang out incessantly in the background.

Other videos showed up to four attackers, armed with assault rifles and wearing caps, who were shooting screaming people at point-blank range.

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    Guards at the concert hall didn’t have guns, and some could have been killed at the start of the attack, Russian media reported. It wasn’t immediately clear what happened to the assailants, but some Russian news outlets suggested that they fled before special forces and riot police arrived.

    As the blaze continued to rage late into the night, statements of outrage, shock and support to those affected streamed in from around the world.

    Russian authorities said security has been tightened at Moscow’s airports, railway stations and the capital’s sprawling subway system. Moscow’s mayor canceled all mass gatherings and theaters and museums shut for the weekend. Other Russian regions also tightened security.

    The Kremlin didn’t immediately blame anyone for the attack, but some Russian lawmakers were quick to accuse Ukraine of being behind it. Hours before the attack, the Russian military launched a sweeping barrage on Ukraine’s power system, crippling the country’s biggest hydroelectric plant and other energy facilities and leaving more than a million people without electricity.

    Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, denied Ukraine’s involvement in the concert hall attack.

    Ukraine has never resorted to the use of terrorist methods,” he posted on X. “Everything in this war will be decided only on the battlefield.”

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