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  • SAUDI ARABIA BREAKING NEWS

Gunmen Kill 40 In Attack At Concert Hall Near Moscow, Russian Security Service Says.



At least 40 people were killed and over 100 hurt when gunmen in camouflage opened fire with automatic weapons on people at a concert in the Crocus City Hall near Moscow on Friday, Russia’s FSB security service said.

 

In one of the worst such attacks in Russia in years, at least five gunmen were shown in unverified firing repeatedly at screaming civilians cowering in the concert hall as Soviet-era rock group “Picnic” was about to perform.

 

Other video footage showed the men shooting people below what looked like an entrance sign to “Crocus City Hall”. People lying motionless in pools of blood outside the hall were also visible.

 

All the tickets in the 6,200–seat concert hall had been sold out. State news agency YASS cited Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), the main successor to the Soviet-era KGB, as saying 40 people had been killed and more than 100 wounded.

 

“Suddenly there were bangs behind us – shots. A burst of firing – I do not know what”, one witness who asked not to be named told Reuters.

 

“A stampede began, everyone ran to the escalator”, the witness said. “Everyone was screaming, everyone was running.

 

Flames leaped into the sky and plumes of black smoke rose above the venues as hundreds of blue lights from emergency vehicles flashed into the night, Reuters pictures and video showed.

 

Helicopters sought to douse the flames and evacuated around 100 people from the basement, Russian media reported. The roof of the venue was collapsing, state news agency RIA said.

 

Russian media reported a second blast at the venue and there were reports that some of the gunmen had barricaded themselves somewhere in the building.

 

It was not immediately unclear who the attackers were. No group has yet claimed responsibility.

 

Two weeks ago, the U.S. embassy in Russia warned that “extremists” had imminent plans for an attack in Moscow.

 

It issued its warning several after the FSB said it had foiled an attack on a synagogue in Moscow by a cell of the militant Sunni Muslim group Islamic State.

 

President Vladimir Putin, who was on Sunday re-elected for a new six-year term, sent thousands of troops into Ukraine in 2022 and has repeatedly warned that various powers-including the West – are seeking to sow chaos inside Russia.

 

Putin has yet to comment in public on the attack.

 

SECURITY TIGHTENED

 

Russia tightened security at airports and stations and across the capital – a vast urban area of over 21 million people.

 

“A terrible tragedy occurred in the shopping centre Crocus City today”, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said. “I am sorry for the loved ones of the victims”.

 

Russia’s foreign ministry said it was a “bloody terrorist attack”.

 

“The entire world community is obliged to condemn this monstrous crime”, Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said. “All efforts are being thrown at saving people”.

 

The White House said on Friday that images of shooting in the Russian capital were hard to watch.

 

“The images are just horrible and just hard to watch and our thoughts obviously are going to be with the victims of this terrible, terrible shooting attack”, White House spokesman John Kirby said.

 

Kirbi said there was “no indication at this time that Ukraine or Ukrainians were involved in the shooting”.

 

Zakharova questioned how the U.S. knew this and said Washington should immediately pass any information it had to Moscow, or stop making such statements.

 

“Oh what basis do officials in Washington draw any conclusions in the midst of a tragedy about someone’s innocence?” Zakharova said.

 

 

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