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Gunmen kill at least 60 people in Moscow’s live performance corridor, according to Russian officers

Several gunmen dressed in camouflage opened fire at a popular live performance venue on the outskirts of Moscow on Friday evening, killing about 60 people and wounding more than 100, according to the FSB, Russia’s high-security service specified. That death toll would make it the deadliest attack in the capital region in more than a decade.

As gunfire thundered through the building housing the concert hall, one of the largest and hottest music venues in Moscow, a fire broke out on the upper floors of the building and the fire intensified after an explosion, RIA Novosti news agency reported.

The Islamic State claimed responsibility through an affiliated information company. U.S. security officials and a senior counterterrorism official said they believed the attack was carried out by the terrorists Islamic State in Khorasan, a branch of the terrorist group active in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the issue publicly.

Multiple videos posted on social media and confirmed by The New York Times show several people entering the Crocus Metropolis corridor, a sprawling shopping and leisure center in a suburb of Krasnogorsk, northwest of Moscow, and firing guns. Other films show people working with bloodied victims lying on the ground or screaming at the sound of gunfire, while images show our bodies lined up outside the building.

A woman who gave her title only as Marina said in a text message that she was standing in line outside in the cold for a live performance when people without coats began working out of the building around 8 p.m., saying she would do it photos heard.

“As soon as I heard about digital gun photos, I started working too,” she said.

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Videos posted on social media and reviewed by The New York Times show gunmen entering the Crocus Metropolis corridor, a live performance venue and shopping center outside Moscow, and preparing spectators for a performance.credit-worthinessCredit-worthiness…Yulia Morozova/Reuters

State news agency TASS reported that rescue workers sent helicopters to try to rescue people from the roof of the building, where flames and smoke rose into the evening sky. The roof near the live performance stage collapsed around 10 p.m. local time, RIA Novosti reported.

Hours after the chaos began, the Russian National Guard was on the move specified His officers were still searching for the attackers and people evacuated from the front lines. State media companies reported up to five perpetrators.

According to Russian Health Minister Mikhail Murashko, at least 115 people were hospitalized after the attack on the Moscow Concert Hall, including five children. The minister said the injured were 60 adult patients in emergency situations. Another 30 people were processed and released.

Russia’s investigative committee, which is equivalent to the FBI, specified It had initiated criminal proceedings over a terrorist attack and sent its investigators to the crime. RIA Novosti stated that a certain police unit was operating in the building.

John F. Kirby, a spokesman for President Biden’s National Security Council, told reporters that the White House “has no indication at this time that Ukraine or Ukrainians are concerned.” Mykhailo Podolyak, a senior adviser to the Ukrainian presidential office, said in a video that “Ukraine had nothing to do with the attack at all.”

On March 7, the U.S. Embassy in Moscow issued one Security alarm Das warned that his staff had “observed evidence that extremists had immediate plans to focus on huge gatherings in Moscow and include live shows.” The statement, which said nothing about the extremists’ affiliation, warned People that an attack could occur in the next 48 hours.

Exterior view of the live performance venue in Moscow after Friday’s attack.Credit-worthiness…Maxim Shemetov/Reuters

Kremlin experts seized on the US embassy’s warning and portrayed America as an attempt to scare the Russians. On March 19, Russian President Vladimir V. Putin called the claim “obvious blackmail” with the “intent of intimidating and destabilizing our society.”

Friday’s attack was related to the March 7 warning, according to American officials briefed on the matter. They added that the U.S. privately briefed Russia on intelligence information about Islamic State activities at the time.

Condolences and expressions of outrage came from around the world, including from the governments of the United States and other countries at odds with Russia. Yulia Navalnaya, the widow of opposition leader Aleksei Navalny, who died in a Russian prison last month, said on social media: “All those involved in this crime should be discovered and brought to justice.”

The attack came on a day when 165 missiles and drones attacked Ukraine, US Ambassador to Ukraine Bridget Brink said. specified was “the largest attack on the Ukrainian power grid since the Russian struggle began.”

The recording took place a few minutes before the start of a sold-out performance by veteran rock band Piknik. The live performance hall has 6,200 seats, according to its website.

“No fewer than three camouflaged individuals burst into the ground of the Crocus Metropolis Corridor and opened fire with computer-controlled weapons” and threw incendiary objects, a RIA Novosti correspondent at the scene reported. “There are undoubtedly wounded.”

In films shot in the live corridor, audience members can be heard screaming and seen cowering as repeated gunshots echo from the corridor.

Russian emergency services said they had dispatched 130 cars to the scene and three helicopters to drop water on the fire that was destroying the upper floors. Late into the night the fire seemed to have clearly gone out.

Members of the Russian National Guard secured the world.Credit-worthiness…Alexander Avilov/Moscow Information Company, via Associated Press

Shootings are unusual in Russia, where the state strictly regulates the ownership of firearms. One of the deadliest happened in 2022, when a gunman killed 18 people and injured 23 others at a school in the city of Izhevsk.

If Friday’s figures of 60 dead and more than 100 injured are reasonable, then the figure is comparable to the suicide bombing at Moscow’s Domodedovo airport in 2011, which killed 37 people, and two coordinated suicide bombings at Moscow’s subway station. Train stations killed 38 in 2010.

In 2004, 172 people died in the siege of a Moscow theater by Chechen separatists. Police pumped sedative fuel into the theater to incapacitate the attackers. However, the fuel killed 132 hostages.

The location where Friday’s attack occurred was developed by Azerbaijan-born billionaire Aras Agalarov, whose son Emin is a famous pop star. Former President Donald Trump hosted the Miss Universe pageant at the same venue in 2013, and world-famous artists such as Eric Clapton, Dua Lipa and Sia also performed there.

Alina Lobzina, Julian E. Barnes And Neil MacFarquhar contributed to reporting.

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