Attack in Moscow: the victims of the shooting at the concert rise to 143, at least 100 injured. ISIS claims: 11 arrests, including the 4 attackers. “They had contacts with Kiev”


By John

There are also 3 children among the 143 victims (according to what was stated by the director of Russia Today, Margarita Simonyan, quoted by the Ria Novosti agency) of the terrorist attack in a concert hall on the outskirts of Moscow. The authorities made this known while you dig under the rubble of the Crocus City Hall where approximately 6,000 spectators would have been present at the time of the armed invasion. The Ministry for Emergency Situations has also published “the updated list” of those hospitalized, there is talk of at least 107 injured. Russian agencies report it.

The director of the Russian security services FSB told President Vladimir Putin onarrest of 11 people, including four terrorists involved in the attack at the Crocus City Hall in Moscow. This was reported by the Kremlin press service cited by Tass. «The criminals (the people arrested in the Bryansk region, ed.) intended to cross the border between the Russian Federation and Ukraine» and in any case “they had relevant contacts” with the Ukrainian side: This is what the Russian security services claim. This was reported by the Ria Novosti agency. «This is a deliberate provocation by Putin's special services, which the international community has warned against. The Kremlin tyrant began his career with this and wants to end it with the same crimes against his own citizens”, replies the main intelligence directorate of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense through the words of Andrey Yusov, in a comment to Pravda Ukraine.

Previously the head of the State Duma Committee on Information Policy Alexander Khinshtein had the arrest of two alleged suspects: «According to initial information, the car of the suspects was spotted yesterday evening near the village of Khatsun, in Karachinsky district of the Bryansk region. The car did not stop at the request of the police officers and tried to flee,” Khinshtein wrote on Telegram. According to his account, the car overturned during the chase. «One of the terrorists was arrested on the spot and the others fled into the forest. A second suspect was found and arrested in a search operation at 3.50am. The searches for the others continue,” he added. Khinshtein said a pistol, an AKM assault rifle cartridge and Tajik passports were seized.

Moscow has therefore returned to living the worst nightmares of the Chechen terrorist attacks of the 1990s when last night a group of armed men, dressed in camouflage, broke into the north-west of the capital, opening fire mercilessly on spectators.

According to some testimonies, yesterday's attackers in the concert hall would also have thrown grenades or incendiary bottles and shortly afterwards the entire building turned into a fire. Over 470 men were deployed to put out the flames. The authorities have opened a terrorism investigation.

ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack

ISIS claimed responsibility for the armed attack on Moscow. The United States had warned Russia of the risk of attacks by ISIS-K, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. CNN reports this, citing informed sources. According to the New York Times, however, the American embassy in Moscow had warned Washington on March 7 that it was “monitoring reports that extremists have imminent plans to attack major events in Moscow, including concerts.” In the alert, which according to the American newspaper's sources was linked to yesterday's attack, it was claimed that the attacks could have occurred within 48 hours. The alarm was raised after the internal security services (FSB) said the day before they had foiled a gun attack against the faithful of a synagogue in the capital. Russian intelligence had specified that the attack had been planned by a cell of Wilayat Khorasan, the Afghan branch of ISIS, which appeared for the first time in 2014, which aims to found a new caliphate bringing together various countries Asian countries, including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran but also some former Soviet republics, such as Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

The attack, which the Foreign Ministry invited the entire international community to condemn, took place in the Krasnogorsk district, outside and inside the Crocus City Hall concert hall, the largest in Moscow capable of hosting over 7 thousand people and where the rock band Picnic to perform. About a hundred people were rescued from inside the hall or from the roof, where they had taken refuge and which then partially collapsed due to the flames. Some helicopters were flown in to put out the fire. The Italian embassy immediately took action to verify the possible presence of Italianswhich is not available at the moment.

In a video you can see the attackers – at least four, others speak of five – who approach, guns in hand, towards the entrance of the concert hall, located in the hall of a shopping centre, and shoot in cold blood at some people who try to take shelter in a corner. In another video, relaunched by Novaja Gazeta Europa, dozens of people can be seen crowding towards the exit of the building to escape the attack, while around dozens of bodies hit by gunfire can be clearly seen.

The White House said its “thoughts are with the victims of the terrible attack” and spoke of “horrific images, difficult to watch.” According to National Security Council spokesman John Kirby, «there is no sign at the moment of the involvement of Ukraine or Ukrainians in the shooting in Moscow.” The Ukrainian presidency also denied any involvement, as did the Russian paramilitary units part of the Kiev forces which in recent weeks have claimed responsibility for several infiltration attempts in the Russian border regions of Belgorod and Kursk. However, the former president and current vice-president of the Russian Security Council, the hawk, immediately raised the tone Dmitry Medvedev: «If it is established that there are terrorists from the Kiev regime behind it, they will all have to be found and killed without mercy. Including leaders of the State that committed such atrocities,” he threatened on his Telegram channel.

A UN spokesperson, quoted by the Russian agency Ria Novosti, said that Secretary General Antonio Guterres was mourning the death of spectators at the Crocus City Hall. «I express condemnation of every form of terrorism and solidarity with the families of the victims», Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani wrote on.

The Picnic frontman offers to pay for the funeral

Over 600 people have already donated blood in the first hour of operation of blood transfusion centers in the Moscow region. Shaman, the lead singer of the band Picnic who was supposed to perform last night at Crocus City Hall, said he will pay for the funerals of the victims and the treatment of people who were injured during the terrorist attack, as reported by CNN. “We are all one big family. And in a family there is no such thing as someone else's pain,” said the singer, known for his nationalistic ideas, in a video published on the Russian social network Vkontakte to his over 600,000 followers. “My people , all the problems and misfortunes have always united our country. They have made Russia tougher and stronger. This time too it will not be possible to scare us and break us,” he said.

All mass cultural events in Russia canceled

The Russia-Paraguay friendly, scheduled for Monday in Moscow, has been cancelled. “Due to the attack” which occurred last night in a concert hall on the outskirts of Moscow, “the Russian Football Federation and the Paraguayan Football Federation have decided to cancel the friendly match” we read in a note. The match, which was supposed to take place at the Dynamo stadium in Moscow, could be organized at a later date, according to the same source.

Furthermore, all mass and entertainment events in federal cultural institutions of Russia are canceled for the next few days. The Ministry of Culture said this to Tass. «A terrible and incomprehensible tragedy in Crocus City Hall. Condolences to the families and friends of the victims. We cry with you. A speedy recovery to the victims. Mass and entertainment events in federal cultural institutions are canceled for the next few days,” the ministry's press service said.