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Tajikistan detains 9 over Moscow concert hall attack

March 29, 2024

The detainees are believed to be accomplices of the men charged for the deadly attack on a Moscow concert hall. They are the latest Tajik citizens detained for the attack claimed by ISIS-K.

A view shows the burnt-out Crocus City Hall following a deadly attack on the concert venue on the outskirts of Moscow
Gunmen opened fire at the Crocus City concert hall near Moscow, also setting fire to the venueImage: Maxim Shemetov/REUTERS

Tajikistan arrested nine people in connection with last week's attack on the Crocus City Hall music venue on the outskirts of Moscow,  in which at least 143 people were killed.

The state security committee detained them on Monday in the city of Vakhdat, a source told Reuters news agency.

The Russian state news agency RIA Novosti, citing an unnamed source, reported that Russian security forces were also involved in the operation to detain the suspects.

The suspects were being detained in the capital, Dushanbe, and were suspected of having been in communication with the attackers.

Tajikistan, Russia cooperate after concert hall attack

Russian authorities arrested 11 people in the first 24 hours after the attack, and eight, including the four suspected gunmen, have been placed in pretrial detention. All but one of them are believed to be Tajik citizens.

On Friday, a Moscow court ordered another suspect charged with "terrorism" to be held in detention until May 22, pending an investigation and trial. Independent Russian media outlets reported that the suspect was also a Tajik national.

Russian investigators claim to have evidence linking "Ukrainian nationalists" to last week's attack on the concert hall.

Ukraine has strongly denied any involvement in the attack, and the United States dismissed the Russian claims as "nonsense propaganda."

Terror group claims attack

The Moscow attack has been claimed by the ISIS-K terror group, an offshoot of the self-styled "Islamic State" based in Afghanistan.

In the latest issue of its digital magazine published on Friday, the terror group said that four of its members had been arrested after being hunted down by ground and air forces.

Who are ISIS-K, the group that hit Russia?

The predominantly Muslim nation of Tajikistan borders Afghanistan and is a member of a Russian-led security bloc and hosts a Russian military base.

Reuters reported authorities there have rounded up the families of the suspected gunmen so that Russian investigators can question them in Dushanbe.

zc, lo/sms (AP, Reuters, AFP)