Deadly Terror Strikes Moscow: ISIS Claims Responsibility for Concert Hall Attack

ISIS has claimed responsibility for an attack that occurred at a popular concert hall complex near Moscow on Friday. During the assault, assailants stormed the venue wielding guns and incendiary devices, resulting in the deaths of at least 60 people and injuring 145.

Concert Hall
Concert Hall (Image source: )

The terror group asserted its involvement in the attack through a brief statement published by the ISIS-affiliated news agency Amaq on Telegram. However, they did not provide any evidence to support their claim.

Video footage captured from the Crocus City Hall depicts the extensive complex, housing both the music hall and a shopping center, engulfed in flames with smoke rising into the air. According to reports from state-run RIA Novosti, the armed individuals opened fire with automatic weapons and deployed either a grenade or an incendiary bomb, triggering a fire. Subsequently, they reportedly fled the scene in a white Renault car.

State media outlet Russia 24 reported that the roof of the venue had partially collapsed due to the attack.

It took more than six hours to largely bring the fire under control. Moscow governor Andrey Vorobyov announced on Telegram that while there were still some isolated pockets of fire, it had mostly been extinguished.

This incident marks the deadliest terror attack in Moscow in decades and occurred less than a week after President Vladimir Putin's reelection. Putin had emphasized security in his campaign rhetoric, particularly in light of the ongoing conflict with Ukraine.

The attack unfolded just before a concert by the band Picnic, according to Russia 24. The Prosecutor General's Office stated that unidentified individuals wearing camouflage broke into Crocus City Hall and began shooting prior to the concert's start.

Crocus City Hall
Crocus City Hall (Image source: Twitter)

Videos capturing the chaos show people scrambling for safety, seeking refuge behind seats as gunshots rang out in the hall. Some individuals were forced to break windows to escape the gunfire.

SWAT teams were deployed to the area, and over 70 ambulance teams and medical personnel provided assistance to the victims. According to reports, 145 people were hospitalized, with 60 in serious condition.

President Putin was briefed about the attack and is being updated on the ground measures. He conveyed his wishes for the speedy recovery of those injured and expressed gratitude to the medical staff.

Approximately 100 people were evacuated from the building by firefighters.

Moscow Sergei Sobyanin described the attack as a “terrible tragedy” and announced the cancellation of all public events in Moscow for the weekend.

Fortunately, the performers of Picnic were unharmed, as confirmed by their manager.

singer Shaman pledged to cover the funeral expenses of the victims and provide assistance to the injured, emphasizing unity in the face of adversity.

Crocus City Hall
Crocus City Hall (Image source: Twitter)

The US had previously warned of potential attacks in Moscow, advising citizens to avoid large gatherings. Following the Crocus City Hall attack, the US embassy advised against travel to Russia.

Earlier in March, Russian authorities had thwarted several ISIS-related incidents. However, a US official stated that there was no reason to doubt ISIS' claim of responsibility for the latest attack.

The international community condemned the attack, with United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres offering condolences to the victims' families and condemning the as “heinous and cowardly.” Leaders from China, France, India, and Saudi Arabia also expressed solidarity and denounced the violence.

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