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Moscow Concert Hall: SIL Claims Responsibility for Deadly Attack

At least 60 dead and over 145 injured as gunmen unleash terror during Picnic concert at Moscow concert Hall.

At least 60 dead and over 145 injured as gunmen unleash terror during Picnic concert at Moscow concert Hall.

  • Gunmen, reportedly affiliated with ISIL, stormed the concert hall, firing automatic weapons into the crowd and setting off explosives.
  • Eyewitnesses describe scenes of panic and chaos as concertgoers scramble for safety, with some resorting to climbing over one another to reach emergency exits.
  • Russian officials, including Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin and President Vladimir Putin, condemn the attack as a “huge tragedy” and vow to pursue the perpetrators.

In a daring act of terror, the ISIL (ISIS) group has claimed responsibility for a horrific attack on Moscow’s Crocus City Hall, leaving a trail of death and destruction. At least 60 people have been reported dead, with over 145 injured, as the gunmen unleashed chaos during a concert.

Firefighters were captured on camera battling the blaze at the Crocus City Hall concert venue as flames engulfed the building.[Image: Maxim Shemetov/Reuters]

The incident unfolded on Friday night when at least five assailants, dressed in camouflage and armed with automatic weapons, stormed into the packed concert hall in the western suburbs of Moscow. Attendees, gathered to enjoy a performance by the veteran rock band Picnic, were subjected to a terrifying onslaught as the attackers fired indiscriminately into the crowd and set off explosives, igniting a massive fire.

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Eyewitnesses described scenes of panic and horror as concertgoers scrambled for safety, with some resorting to climbing over one another to reach emergency exits. Alexei, a music producer who was present at the event, recounted hearing the unmistakable sound of gunfire and realizing the gravity of the situation. “I realized right away that it was automatic gunfire and understood that most likely it’s the worst: a terrorist attack,” he said.

The assault, reminiscent of past tragedies like the 2004 Beslan school siege, has shocked the nation, prompting swift condemnation from Russian officials and leaders around the world. Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin described the raid as a “huge tragedy,” while President Vladimir Putin remained abreast of the situation, receiving continuous updates.

Security forces, including Russia’s national guard Rosgvardia, swiftly mobilized to contain the situation and evacuate survivors from the burning building. Despite their efforts, the death toll continues to climb, with reports suggesting that the number of casualties could rise further.

The attack marks one of the deadliest incidents in Russia in recent years and underscores the persistent threat posed by extremist groups. In a statement posted on its Telegram channel, ISIL claimed responsibility for the assault, boasting of inflicting destruction before withdrawing to safety. While investigations are underway, the grim reality of terrorism has once again struck the heart of Moscow, leaving a city in mourning and a nation in shock.

Authorities have tightened security measures across the capital, with heightened vigilance at airports, railway stations, and public transport hubs. Mass gatherings have been cancelled, and cultural institutions shuttered as a precautionary measure.

As the investigation unfolds, questions linger about the perpetrators behind this heinous act of violence and the motives driving such senseless bloodshed. Amidst the grief and sorrow, the resolve to confront terrorism and safeguard the safety and security of citizens remains steadfast.

The attack on Crocus City Hall serves as a grim reminder of the ever-present threat posed by terrorism and the need for unwavering solidarity in the face of adversity. As the nation mourns the loss of innocent lives, the resolve to stand united against extremism remains unshaken.

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA AND NEWS AGENCIES

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