No less than 40 killed and dozens injured in Moscow live performance corridor taking pictures; ISIS claims accountability

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A number of gunmen burst into a big live performance corridor on the sting of Moscow on Friday and sprayed the group with computerized gunfire, killing no less than 40 individuals, injuring greater than 100 others and setting hearth to the venue in a brazen assault simply days after President Vladimir Putin cemented his grip on energy in a extremely orchestrated electoral landslide.

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin described the assault as a “big tragedy” and which state authorities are investigating as terrorism. The assault, which left the live performance corridor in flames with a collapsed roof, was the deadliest assault in Russia in years and got here because the nation’s struggle in Ukraine dragged into a 3rd yr.

The Islamic State group has claimed accountability for the assault in a press release posted on affiliated channels on social media. In a press release posted by its Aamaq information company, the group mentioned it attacked a big gathering of Christians within the metropolis of Krasnogorsk on the outskirts of the Russian capital of Moscow, killing and wounding a whole bunch. It was not instantly doable to confirm the authenticity of the declare.

A U.S. official tells CBS Information the U.S. has intelligence confirming the Islamic State’s claims of accountability, and that they don’t have any purpose to doubt these claims. The U.S. official additionally confirmed that the U.S. offered intelligence to Russia a couple of potential assault underneath the intelligence group’s Obligation to Warn requirement.

Nationwide Safety Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson confirmed that in a press release offered to CBS Information Friday night.

“Earlier this month, the U.S. authorities had details about a deliberate terrorist assault in Moscow —probably focusing on giant gatherings, to incorporate concert events— which prompted the State Division to problem a public advisory to Individuals in Russia,” Watson mentioned. “The U.S. authorities additionally shared this data with Russian authorities in accordance with its longstanding ‘obligation to warn’ coverage.”

A U.S. regulation enforcement official tells CBS Information that there isn’t any recognized menace to the U.S. emanating from the Moscow assault.

Russia’s Federal Safety Service, the primary home safety and counter-terrorism company, mentioned 40 individuals have been killed and greater than 100 have been wounded within the assault at Crocus Metropolis Corridor, a big music corridor on Moscow’s western edge.

The assailants threw explosives, triggering the large blaze on the corridor, which may accommodate 6,000, in response to Russian information shops. Video from outdoors confirmed the constructing on hearth, with an enormous cloud of smoke rising by means of the night time sky. The road was lit up by the blinking blue lights of dozens of firetrucks, ambulances and different emergency automobiles.

The assault occurred as crowds gathered for a efficiency by the well-known Russian rock band Picnic. Russian information studies mentioned concertgoers have been being evacuated, however that an unknown quantity might have been trapped by the blaze.

The prosecutor’s workplace mentioned a number of males in fight fatigues entered the live performance corridor and fired on concertgoers.

APTOPIX Russia Shooting
A large blaze is seen over the Crocus Metropolis Corridor on the western fringe of Moscow, Russia, Friday, March 22, 2024.Sergei Vedyashkin / AP

Repeated volleys of gunfire may very well be heard in movies posted by Russian media and on Telegram channels. One confirmed two males with rifles shifting by means of the venue. One other confirmed a person contained in the auditorium and saying the assailants had set it on hearth, as gunshots rang out incessantly within the background.

Different movies confirmed as much as 4 attackers, armed with assault rifles and sporting caps, who have been taking pictures at screaming individuals at point-blank vary.

Guards on the live performance corridor did not have weapons, and a few might have been killed in the beginning of the assault, Russian media reported. It wasn’t instantly clear what occurred to the assailants, however some Russian information shops steered that they fled earlier than particular forces and riot police arrived.

Russian authorities mentioned safety has been tightened at Moscow’s airports, railway stations and the capital’s sprawling subway system. Moscow’s mayor canceled all mass gatherings, and theaters and museums shut for the weekend. Different Russian areas additionally tightened safety.

Gunmen attack concert hall in Moscow
Elmurod Usubaliev/Anadolu through Getty Photos

The Kremlin hasn’t blamed anybody for the assault, however some Russian lawmakers have been fast to accuse Ukraine of being behind it. Hours earlier than the assault, the Russian army launched a sweeping barrage on Ukraine’s energy system, crippling the nation’s largest hydroelectric plant and different power amenities and leaving greater than one million individuals with out electrical energy.

John Kirby, a spokesman for the White Home Nationwide Safety Council, mentioned Friday that he could not but discuss all the main points however that “the photographs are simply horrible. And simply onerous to look at.”

“Our ideas are going to be with the victims of this horrible, horrible taking pictures assault,” Kirby mentioned. “There are some mothers and dads and brothers and sisters and little kids who have not gotten the information but. That is going to be a troublesome day.”

The assault adopted a statement issued earlier this month by the U.S. Embassy in Moscow that urged Individuals to keep away from crowded locations within the Russian capital in view of “imminent” plans by extremists to focus on giant gatherings in Moscow, a warning that was repeated by a number of different Western embassies.

Requested in regards to the embassy’s discover issued on March 7, Kirby referred the query to the State Division, including: “I do not suppose that was associated to this particular assault.”

Responding to a query about whether or not Washington had any prior details about the assault, Kirby responded: “I am not conscious of any advance information that we had of this horrible assault.”

Russia was shaken by a sequence of lethal terror assaults within the early 2000s throughout the preventing with separatists within the Russian province of Chechnya.

In October 2002, Chechen militants took about 800 individuals hostage at a Moscow theater. Two days later, Russian particular forces stormed the constructing, and 129 hostages and 41 Chechen fighters died, most of them from the consequences of narcotic fuel Russian forces used to subdue the attackers.

And in September 2004, about 30 Chechen militants seized a college in Beslan in southern Russia, taking a whole bunch of hostages. The siege resulted in a massacre two days later and greater than 330 individuals, about half of them youngsters, have been killed.

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