ISIS claims responsibility for attack in Moscow

A terrorist group ISIS has claimed responsibility for an attack at a popular concert venue complex near Moscow on Friday that left at least 40 dead and more than 100 wounded after assailants stormed the venue with guns and incendiary devices.

The terror group took responsibility for the attack in a short statement published by ISIS-affiliated news agency Amaq on Telegram on Friday. The group did not provide evidence to support the claim.

Video footage from the site of the attack, the Crocus City Hall concert venue, shows the vast complex, which is home to both the music hall and a shopping center, on fire with smoke billowing into the air.

RIA Novosti reported the armed individuals “opened fire with automatic weapons” and “threw a grenade or an incendiary bomb, which started a fire.”

Local media reported that the attack unfolded before the music group Picnic was set to perform, while the band’s manager told state media that the performers were unharmed.

The Russia Prosecutor General’s Office said “unidentified people in camouflage broke into Crocus City Hall and started shooting before the start of the concert.”

Video footage showed panic as the attack unfolded, with crowds of people huddling together, screaming and ducking behind cushioned seats as gunshots started echoing in the vast hall.

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Footage geolocated by CNN shows an armed individual starting at least one fire inside the venue. The individual was seen carrying something in their hand and as they walk off-screen, a bright flash of light from a large flame is seen in the video.

Regional governor Andrey Vorobyov said everything was being done to save people, noting that a SWAT team was called to the area and more than 70 ambulance teams and doctors were assisting victims.

The Main Directorate of the Ministry of Emergency Situations of the Russian Federation said around 100 people were evacuated from the building by firefighters and rescuers are still working to get people off the roof,

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin called the attack a “terrible tragedy.”

“Today a terrible tragedy occurred in the Crocus City center. My condolences to the loved ones of the victims. I gave orders to provide all necessary assistance to everyone who suffered during the incident,” Sobyanin said in a statement.

He further stated in a Telegram post that he was canceling all sports, cultural and other public events in Moscow this weekend.

It was reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin was informed about the attack and is being kept updated on measures on the ground.

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