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The court says two of four men charged in the Moscow attack have admitted guilt as the suspects showed signs of being beaten

Four men are accused of orchestrating the murder Attack on concert hall in Russia The killed more than 130 people appeared in a Moscow court on Sunday showing signs of severe beating as they were formally charged with terrorism. One appeared barely conscious during the hearing.

A court statement said two of the suspects accepted guilt in the attack after being charged at the preliminary hearing, although the men’s condition raised questions about whether they spoke freely. There had previously been conflicting reports in Russian media that three or all four men had admitted their guilt.

Moscow’s Basmanny District Court has formally charged Dalerdzhon Mirzoyev, 32; Saidakrami Rachabalizoda, 30; Shamsidin Fariduni, 25; and Mukhammadsobir Faizov, 19, for committing a group terrorist attack that left other people dead. The maximum penalty for the offense is life imprisonment.

The court ordered the men, all citizens of Tajikistan, to remain in custody until May 22.

UKRAINE-RUSSIA ATTACK SHOOTING
People light candles at a memorial event in Donetsk, Russian-controlled Ukraine, March 24, 2024, as Russia marks a national day of mourning after a massacre at a Moscow concert hall that left more than 130 people dead.

VALERY MELNIKOV/AFP via Getty Images


Russian media had reported that the men were tortured during interrogation by security services and that Mirzoyev, Rachabalizoda and Fariduni showed signs of severe bruising, including swollen faces.

Rachabalizoda also had a heavily bandaged ear. Russian media reported on Saturday that one of the suspects had his ear cut off during interrogation. The Associated Press was unable to verify the report or the videos purporting to show this.

The fourth suspect, Faizov, was brought to court from a hospital in a wheelchair and sat with his eyes closed throughout the proceedings. He was attended to by doctors as he appeared in court, where he was wearing a hospital gown and pants and had several cuts.

Court officials said Mirzoyev and Rachabalizoda admitted guilt in the attack following their arraignment.

The hearing came as Russia marked a national day of mourning for Friday’s attack on the suburban Crocus City Hall concert venue that killed at least 137 people.

The attack, claimed by an affiliate of the Islamic State group, is the deadliest on Russian soil in years.

The Crocus City Hall building was destroyed by fire
The Crocus City Hall building was destroyed by fire following a terrorist attack that killed at least 137 people.

Vlad Karkov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images


Russian authorities arrested the four suspected attackers on Saturday and detained seven other people on suspicion of involvement in the attack, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an address to the nation on Saturday evening. He claimed they were captured while fleeing to Ukraine, something Kiev strongly denied.

According to state news agency RIA Novosti, events at cultural institutions were canceled on Sunday, flags were lowered to half staff and television entertainment and advertising were stopped. A steady stream of people filled a makeshift memorial near the burned-out concert hall, creating a huge pile of flowers.

“People came to a concert, some people came to relax with their families and any of us could have ended up in this situation. And I want to express my condolences and recognition to all the families who were affected here.” “These people,” Andrey Kondakov, one of the mourners who came to lay flowers at the memorial, told the AP.

“It is a tragedy that has affected our entire country,” said kindergarten worker Marina Korshunova. “It just doesn’t make sense that young children were affected by this event.” Three children were among the dead.

Rescuers continued to search the damaged building and the death toll rose as more bodies were found, while family and friends of some of those still missing waited for news. Moscow’s health ministry said on Sunday it had begun identifying the bodies of those killed using DNA testing and said the process would take at least two weeks.

Tribute to the victims of the Moscow terrorist attack
People lay flowers at the makeshift memorials for the victims of the terrorist attack at the Crocus City Hall concert hall on March 24, 2024 in Moscow, Russia.

Tian Bing/China News Service/VCG via Getty Images


Igor Pogadaev desperately searched for details about his wife Yana Pogadaeva, who attended the attack concert. The last he heard from her was when she sent him two photos of the Crocus City Hall music venue.

After seeing reports of gunmen opening fire on concertgoers, Pogadaev rushed to the venue but could not find them in the numerous ambulances or among the hundreds of people who had left the venue.

“I walked around, looked, I asked everyone, I showed photos. Nobody saw anything, nobody could say anything,” Pogadaev told the AP in a video message.

He watched flames erupt from the building while frantically calling the hotline for victims’ families, but received no information.

As the death toll rose on Saturday, Pogodaev searched hospitals in the Russian capital and the Moscow region looking for information about newly admitted patients.

His wife was neither among the 182 reported injured nor on the list of 60 victims that authorities had already identified, he said.

The Moscow Region Emergencies Ministry released a video on Sunday showing equipment dismantling the damaged venue to allow rescue workers access.

Putin called the attack “a bloody, barbaric act of terrorism” and said Russian authorities captured the four suspects as they tried to enter Ukraine through a “window” that had been prepared for them on the Ukrainian side of the border to flee.

Russian media broadcast videos that appeared to show the detention and interrogations of the suspects, including one who told the cameras he had been approached on a messaging app by an unknown assistant to an Islamic preacher and paid to take part in the raid.

Putin did not mention ISIS in his address to the nation, and Kiev accused him and other Russian politicians of falsely linking Ukraine to the attack to stoke enthusiasm for it Russia’s fight in Ukrainewhich recently entered its third year.

US intelligence officials said they had confirmed the IS affiliate’s claim.

“ISIS bears sole responsibility for this attack. There was no involvement of Ukraine whatsoever,” National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson said in a statement.

Shots were reported at the concert venue outside Moscow
People walk past the Crocus town hall in Krasnororsk, Russia, March 23, 2024.

Getty Images


The United States shared information with Russia about a planned terrorist attack in Moscow in early March and issued a public warning to Americans in Russia, Watson said.

The raid was a major embarrassment for Putin and came just days after he cemented his hold on the country for another six years in a vote that followed the harshest crackdown on dissent since the Soviet era.

Some commentators on Russian social media questioned why authorities, which have relentlessly suppressed any opposition activity and silenced independent media, failed to prevent the attack despite U.S. warnings.

ISIS, which fought Russia during its intervention in the Syrian civil war, has long targeted Russia. In a statement carried by the group’s Aamaq news agency, the IS affiliate in Afghanistan said it had attacked a large gathering of “Christians” in Krasnogorsk.

The group issued a new statement on Saturday in Aamaq, saying the attack was carried out by four men who used automatic rifles, a pistol, knives and firebombs. It was said the attackers fired into the crowd and stabbed some concertgoers. They described the raid as part of the Islamic State group’s ongoing war with countries they say are fighting Islam.

In October 2015, a bomb planted by ISIS crashed a Russian passenger plane over Sinai, killing all 224 people on board, most of them Russian vacationers returning from Egypt.

The group, which operates primarily in Syria and Iraq, but also in Afghanistan and Africa, has also claimed responsibility for several attacks in the Russian Caucasus and other regions in recent years. It recruited fighters from Russia and other parts of the former Soviet Union.

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