Wed. Apr 24th, 2024

Russia announces the arrest of the perpetrators of the terrorist attack, which left 133 dead

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A bouquet of roses placed not far from Crocus City Hall, where the bloody attack claimed by the Islamic State group took place on Friday March 22. The toll is heavy: 115 dead.

Agence France-Presse

The Kremlin announced on Saturday the arrest of 11 people, including “four” attackers , after the attack carried out in a concert hall in the suburbs of Moscow the day before and claimed by the jihadist group Islamic State (IS).

The toll is rising and now stands at 133 dead, according to the Russian investigative committee.

Russian President Vladimir Putin denounced a barbaric terrorist act on Saturday and declared a day of national mourning on Sunday, in his first televised address since the start of the war. attack.

I express my most sincere condolences to those who lost their loved ones […] and I declare March 24 a day of national mourning, declared the Head of State, denouncing a bloody massacre.

He assured that the four perpetrators of the attack were arrested as they were heading towards Ukraine. Those behind these terrorists will be punished and will not have an enviable destiny, he added.

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Mr. Putin echoes the version of events presented earlier by his security services (FSB), which claimed that the suspects had appropriate contacts on the Ukrainian side and intended to flee to that country.

At no time did he mention the claim made by the Islamic State jihadist group on Friday evening, while kyiv vehemently denied any involvement, describing the Russian accusations as absurd.

Ukraine has not the slightest link with the incident, insisted the adviser to the Ukrainian presidency, Mykhaïlo Podoliak.

The attack on Crocus City Hall is the deadliest in the country in twenty years and the bloodiest in Europe to have been claimed by ISIS since the attacks of November 13, 2015 in Paris .

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The death toll rose to 133 on Saturday morning and is expected to rise further, the Russian Investigative Committee announced, as the search continues and could take days.

The attackers allegedly used automatic weapons and caused a large fire in the building with a flammable liquid, investigators added.

The victims were killed by bullets or by inhaling smoke from the fire, according to investigators.

IS, Russia is fighting in Syria and is also active in the Russian Caucasus, has already carried out attacks in the country since the end of the 2010s. But the group has never claimed responsibility for an attack of this magnitude.

He claimed on one of his Telegram accounts that his fighters had attacked a large gathering […] in the vicinity of the Russian capital Moscow.

The jihadist organization declared that its commando then returned to its base safely.

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Emergency services and police are working at the site of the attack, this Saturday March 23, 2024.

The assault, which Russian media began reporting around 8:15 p.m. Moscow time, was carried out by several armed individuals at Crocus City Hall, a concert hall located in Krasnogorsk, on the northwest edge of the capital. Russian.

The fire completely burned the concert hall, explained the governor of the Moscow region, Andrei Vorobiov.

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Authorities surrounded Crocus City Hall in the evening.

Just before the start, we suddenly heard several machine gun bursts and a terrible woman's scream. Then a lot of screaming, Alexeï, a music producer who was in the dressing rooms at the time of the attack, told AFP.

Anna, 40, who was there with her husband, told AFP on Saturday that she ran towards the exit as soon as she heard banging noises, which were in fact shootings. Her husband fell, but they were finally able to escape.

I was stressed. People were trampling each other, there was a stampede

A quote from Anna, 40, survivor of the attack

Journalists AFP saw the building engulfed in a massive fire on Friday evening, with plumes of black smoke escaping from the roof. The flames spread to nearly 13,000 m2 of the building before the fire was contained, according to the emergency services.

The US Embassy in Russia warned its citizens two weeks ago that it was closely monitoring reports that extremists have imminent plans to target large gatherings in Moscow, including concerts.

On Tuesday, Vladimir Putin rejected these provocative statements. All this looks like pure and simple blackmail and a desire to intimidate and destabilize our society, he said.

Despite ISIS's claim, many questions remain unanswered. According to Russian media and MP Alexander Khinstein, some of the suspects are from Tajikistan.

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“We are in mourning,” is written on this sign on the side of the highway. Many such posters appeared in the city's bus shelters after the attack.

The authorities of this Central Asian country have said they have not received confirmation from Russian authorities regarding the false information currently circulating about the involvement of Tajik citizens.

Tajikistan, bordering Afghanistan where ISIS is active, has been confronted with a multitude of Islamist armed movements since its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. In recent years, citizens of the country have been accused of being linked to jihadist attacks, particularly in Iran.

The Telegram news channels Baza and Mash, known to be close to the police, have published videos showing at least two armed men advancing in the hall, and others on which we can see corpses and groups of people rushing towards the exit.

On Saturday, police and special forces were still deployed in front of and in Crocus City Hall, the top of the building being blackened and partially destroyed by the flames of the day before, under a gray sky.

Hundreds of rescuers were clearing debris after the roof had collapsed into the auditorium. From the morning, long queues had formed in front of some blood donation centers in Moscow, according to images from state media.

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Children lay flowers on a monument reading “Moscow” in Sevastopol, Crimea, in memory of the victims of terrorist attack carried out on Crocus City Hall, in the suburbs of Moscow, which left 115 dead.

In some city bus stops are also Posters appeared showing a candle and the inscription: We are in mourning 03/22/2024, the date of the attack.

The international community denounced this assault, with the European Union and Spain saying they were shocked and the White House declaring that they were alongside the victims. The spokesperson for the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs assured to condemn this act in the strongest possible terms.

In Russia, security measures have been reinforced and several public events were canceled.

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