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ISIS Claims Responsibility for Deadly Attack on Moscow Concert Venue

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MOSCOW, Russia – The Islamist terrorist group ISIS has claimed responsibility for the devastating attack at Crocus City Hall, a popular concert venue near Moscow, that resulted in the tragic loss of at least 90 lives and left more than 100 individuals wounded.

The claim was made through a statement published by the ISIS-affiliated news agency Amaq on the messaging app Telegram on Friday, March 22, 2024. However, no evidence was provided to substantiate the terror group’s involvement.

The assault on the Crocus City Hall, which houses both a music hall and a shopping center, occurred on Friday, moments before the scheduled performance of the music group Picnic.

Armed assailants, reported to have used automatic weapons and incendiary devices, initiated the attack, leading to widespread panic among attendees and significant damage to the venue, including a partial collapse of the roof.

State-run media RIA Novosti detailed how the attackers “opened fire with automatic weapons” and employed a grenade or an incendiary bomb to ignite a blaze within the premises. They are then said to have fled the scene in a white Renault car.

Amid the chaos, video footage captured the terrifying moments of the attack, showing attendees desperately seeking cover as gunfire echoed through the hall.

In the aftermath, Andrey Vorobyov, the regional governor, assured that efforts were underway to save and assist the victims, with more than 70 ambulance teams and a SWAT team dispatched to the site.

Moscow City Duma Chairman Alexey Shaposhnikov issued a call to Moscow residents to donate blood, emphasizing the critical nature of the situation for dozens of individuals.

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, expressing his condolences, declared the incident a “terrible tragedy” and announced the cancellation of all sports, cultural, and public events in Moscow for the weekend.

The Kremlin confirmed that President Vladimir Putin was informed of the attack and is closely monitoring the situation.

The attack comes in the wake of a warning issued by the US embassy in Russia earlier this month, indicating that extremists had imminent plans to target large gatherings in Moscow.

President Putin, addressing these warnings, described them as “provocative” and an attempt to destabilize Russian society. In light of the recent events, the US embassy advised American citizens against traveling to Russia.

Ukraine, engaged in a prolonged conflict with Russia, has categorically denied any involvement in the attack.

Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak condemned the use of terrorist methods and suggested that Russia might exploit the tragedy to escalate military operations in Ukraine.

Condemnation of the attack has come from the highest levels of international diplomacy, with United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres denouncing the act of terrorism and extending his condolences to the families of the victims and the people and government of the Russian Federation, wishing a swift recovery to those injured.

This attack, one of the deadliest on Russian soil in recent years, has reignited concerns about global security and the persistent threat posed by extremist groups, prompting calls for increased cooperation in the fight against terrorism.

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