Islamic State group claims duty for lethal Moscow live performance corridor assault | EUROtoday

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Gunmen opened fireplace at a Moscow live performance corridor on Friday killing at the least 40 individuals, wounding greater than 100 and sparking an inferno, authorities mentioned, with the Islamic State group claiming duty.

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Attackers wearing camouflage uniforms entered the constructing, opened fireplace and threw a grenade or incendiary bomb, in keeping with a journalist for the RIA Novosti information company on the scene.

Fire rapidly unfold by means of the Crocus City live performance corridor in Moscow’s northern Krasnogorsk suburb, as smoke crammed the constructing and screaming guests rushed to emergency exits.

Read extraIn footage: Gunmen open fireplace in lethal assault on Moscow live performance corridor

Alexei, a music producer, was about to settle into his seat earlier than the beginning of a rock live performance when he heard gunfire and “a lot of screams”.

“I realised right away that it was automatic gunfire and understood that most likely it’s the worst: a terrorist attack,” mentioned Alexei, who wouldn’t give his final identify.

As individuals ran in the direction of emergency exits, “there was a terrible crush” with concert-goers climbing on each other’s heads to get out, he added.

Russia’s FSB safety service mentioned at the least 40 individuals had been killed and greater than 100 others injured, in keeping with Russian media studies.

Russia’s Health Minister Mikhail Murashko mentioned 115 individuals had been hospitalised, together with 5 youngsters, one in every of whom was in grave situation. Of the 110 grownup sufferers, 60 had been in critical situation.

Authorities mentioned a “terrorist” investigation had been began and President Vladimir Putin was receiving “constant” updates, his spokesman Dmitry Peskov advised Russian information companies.

Russia’s nationwide guard mentioned it was on the scene and in search of the perpetrators. An AFP reporter noticed law enforcement officials with sniffer canines inspecting automobiles parked subsequent to the constructing.

The Islamic State group mentioned its fighters attacked “a large gathering” on Moscow’s outskirts and “retreated to their bases safely”.

Fire contained

Telegram information channels Baza and Mash, that are near safety forces, confirmed video pictures of flames and black smoke pouring from the corridor.

Other pictures additionally confirmed concert-goers hiding behind seats or making an attempt to flee.

Security providers quoted by Interfax mentioned between two and 5 individuals “wearing tactical uniforms and carrying automatic weapons” opened fireplace on guards on the entrance after which began capturing on the viewers.

About 100 individuals escaped by means of the theatre basement, whereas others had been sheltering on the roof, the emergency providers ministry mentioned on its Telegram channel.

Three helicopters had been concerned in efforts to place out the fireplace, dumping water on the enormous live performance corridor that may maintain a number of thousand individuals and has hosted prime worldwide artists.

Shortly after midnight, the emergencies ministry mentioned the fireplace had been contained.

‘Odious crime’

Outside the burning constructing, heartbroken kin of these on the live performance spoke of hopelessness as they frantically tried to contact family members.

Semyon, 33, whose spouse attended, mentioned “nobody knows” the place she is. “I’ve called five hospitals, all busy,” he mentioned. “I’m in a complete panic, my whole body hurts.”

Russia’s overseas ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova mentioned it had been a “bloody terrorist attack”.

“The whole international community must condemn this odious crime,” she mentioned on Telegram.

The US presidency known as the assault “terrible” and mentioned there was no instant signal of any hyperlink to the battle in Ukraine.

Ukraine’s presidency mentioned Kyiv had “nothing to do” with the assault, whereas its army intelligence known as the incident a Russian “provocation” and charged that Moscow particular providers had been behind it.

The Freedom of Russia Legion, a pro-Ukrainian militia chargeable for assaults on Russia’s border areas, additionally denied any position.

Former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev vowed on Telegram that Ukraine’s prime officers “must be found and ruthlessly destroyed as terrorists” in the event that they had been linked to the assault.

The European Union, France, Spain and Italy joined a number of international locations in condemning the assault, with Italian premier Giorgia Meloni denouncing “an odious act of terrorism”.

French President Emmanuel Macron expressed “solidarity with the victims, their loved ones and all the Russian people”.

Orthodox church chief Patriarch Kirill was “praying for peace for the souls of the dead”, mentioned his spokesman Vladimir Legoyda.

Previous warnings

Moscow and different Russian cities have been the targets of earlier assaults by Islamist teams however there have additionally been incidents with none clear political motive.

Earlier this month, the US embassy in Russia mentioned it was monitoring studies that “extremists” had been planning “to target large gatherings in Moscow”, together with live shows.

In 2002, Chechen separatist fighters took 912 individuals hostage in a Moscow theatre, the Dubrovka, demanding the withdrawal of Russian troops from the area.

Special forces attacked the theatre to finish the hostage-taking and 130 individuals had been killed, almost all suffocated by a fuel utilized by safety forces to knock out the gunmen.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)