Attack in Moscow: more than 60 dead, attackers still wanted, claim by the Islamic State… we take stock

Attack in Moscow: more than 60 dead, attackers still wanted, claim by the Islamic State… we take stock

Selon les enquêteurs russes, le bilan de l’attaque dépasse les 60 morts. EPA – MAXIM SHIPENKOV

Assailants opened fire on Friday March 22, 2024 with automatic weapons in a concert hall located in the suburbs of Moscow, the Crocus City Hall. The results are terrible. This Saturday morning, the hunt continues to arrest the perpetrators of this massacre claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group.

At least 60 people were killed and 145 others injured Friday in a shootout by attackers who opened fire in a concert hall on the outskirts of Moscow. Gunmen opened fire at Crocus City Hall, a concert hall that can accommodate 6,200 people, shortly before a concert by rock band "Picnic" which was sold out.

Video footage shows people settling into the concert hall before rushing towards the exits as gunshots ring out. Other images showed men shooting at groups of people, with some victims lying in pools of blood. "Suddenly, there were explosions behind us, gunshots. A burst of gunfire, I don't know what it was, a witness, preferring to remain anonymous, told Reuters. "A stampede began, everyone rushed towards the escalator", he added. "Everyone was screaming, everyone was running."

More than 60 dead

According to Russian investigators, the death toll from the attack exceeds 60. Health officials said some 145 people were injured and 60 of them were in serious condition. Russian President Vladimir Putin has been briefed on the shooting and is receiving regular updates, according to the Kremlin.

This is one of the deadliest attacks committed in Russia since the hostage-taking in a Beslan school in 2004, where Chechen separatists held more than 1& ;nbsp;100 people, including hundreds of children.

The Islamic State (IS) group claimed responsibility for the attack in a message broadcast on Telegram on Friday. A poor quality photo showing the alleged attackers in a white car was published by some Russian media. However, it was not possible to establish what had happened to the attackers, while firefighters were still battling a large fire and emergency services were still evacuating injured people from the concert hall, where part of the roof collapsed.

The claim of the Islamic State

IS said in a statement that its fighters carried out an attack on the outskirts of Moscow, "killing and injuring hundreds (of people) and causing significant damage before retreating safely to their base", without providing further details. A US official said Friday that the United States had intelligence confirming ISIS's claim. He said Washington had recently warned Moscow of the possibility of an attack.

Attack in Moscow: more than 60 dead, attackers still wanted, claim by the Islamic State… we take stock

This is one of the deadliest attacks committed in Russia in twenty years. MAXPPP – VASILY PRUDNIKOV

The shooting comes two weeks after the US embassy in Moscow warned that "extremists" were planning an imminent attack in the Russian capital. Vladimir Putin supported Syrian President Bashar al Assad by launching an intervention against ISIS in Syria in 2015. "The Islamic State in Khorasan (IS-K) has been obsessed with Russia for two years and frequently criticizes (Vladimir) Putin in its propaganda materials", a said Colin Clarke of the Soufan Center, an institute specializing in security and intelligence issues.

EI-K, a cell of the Islamic State group which appeared in eastern Afghanistan in 2014, seeks to establish a caliphate which would extend into Afghanistan, in Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Iran. Russian Foreign Minister Maria Zakharova denounced a "bloody terrorist attack" which the whole world should condemn.

Contestations and condolences

Many countries, including the United States, expressed their dismay after the attack and offered their condolences. The United Nations Security Council condemned "a heinous and cowardly terrorist attack". French President Emmanuel Macron strongly condemned the attack claimed by ISIS, the Elysée said on Friday, adding that France expressed "its solidarity with the victims, their loved ones and all the Russian people".

Russia has increased security at the capital's airports and transportation hubs. All weekend public gatherings and events have been canceled in the country. Vladimir Putin, who was re-elected to the Russian presidency less than a week ago in a context marked by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, was informed of the shooting minutes after the start of the shooting. ;attack. "The president constantly receives information on the situation and on the measures put in place by the competent services", declared the door -Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov.

Helicopters were trying to put out the flames shooting out of Crocus City Hall. "A terrible tragedy has unfolded in the Crocus City shopping center today", said Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin. "I am sorry for the victims' loved ones."

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