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US 'strongly condemns' terror attack in Moscow outskirts

Published March 23, 2024last updated March 23, 2024

President Vladimir Putin has declared a day of national mourning after over 130 people were killed in an attack on a concert hall on the outskirts of Moscow. The US decried the attack as a "heinous crime."

A man lays down flowers at a makeshift memorial to victims of the terror attack at Crocus City Hall
Several attack victims are still in critical conditionImage: Piknik
Skip next section What you need to know

What you need to know

  • "Islamic State" group claims responsibility for the attack which killed over 130 people
  • Four people directly involved in the attack among 11 detained, says FSB security agency
  • FSB says attackers were trying to reach Ukraine border, Kyiv denies any involvement 
  • President Putin said Sunday will be a day of mourning

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Skip next section Kim Jong Un sends message of sympathy to Putin over massacre
March 23, 2024

Kim Jong Un sends message of sympathy to Putin over massacre

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un sent a message of sympathy to Russian President Vladimir Putin over the massacre at a Moscow concert hall, KCNA state news agency said.

Kim "expressed deep condolences and sympathy" to Putin and to the Russian people, the victims and their families on the news of heavy casualties caused by "a large-scale terrorist attack in (the) Moscow region," KCNA said.

The message also said "nothing can justify the heinous terrorism threatening human life."

The ties between Moscow and Pyongyang grew in recent months following the North Korean leader's visit to Russia's far east last year and Pyongyang's weapons aid for Moscow in its war with Ukraine.

Skip next section Zelenskyy says Putin wants to blame Ukraine for Moscow attack
March 23, 2024

Zelenskyy says Putin wants to blame Ukraine for Moscow attack

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, in his nightly video address, accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of seeking ways to shift blame for a massacre at a concert hall near Moscow on Friday.

"What happened yesterday in Moscow is obvious: Putin and the other scum are just trying to blame it on someone else," Zelenskyy said, after Putin claimed the suspects had been fleeing towards Ukraine.

The Ukrainian president said it was "absolutely predictable" that Putin kept silent for 24 hours before linking the shooting rampage to Ukraine.

Zelenskyy also said that the hundreds of thousands of "terrorists" Putin sent to fight and be killed in the war in Ukraine would be "definitely enough" to stop terrorists at home.

Kyiv has denied any involvement in the Moscow attack, which was claimed by the Islamic State group.

Skip next section Suspected gunmen brought to Moscow for questioning
March 23, 2024

Suspected gunmen brought to Moscow for questioning

Russian television showed footage of four men being questioned over their suspected role in the attack that killed over 130 people at the concert hall on the outskirts of Moscow.

The footage also showed their damaged white Renault vehicle.

Russia's Channel One said they were caught by special forces in the village of Khatsun, southeast of Moscow. The town is located in the region which borders both Ukraine and Belarus.

The four have since been transported to Moscow in a heavily secured motorcade to the Russian capital. There they will face Russia's federal investigators from the Investigative Committee.

TASS news agency reported all of the suspects face life imprisonment.

Skip next section Polish PM says Moscow attack must not be pretext for aggression
March 23, 2024

Polish PM says Moscow attack must not be pretext for aggression

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said the attack on the Moscow concert venue should not become a "pretext" for increased violence.

"Poland strongly condemns the brutal attack at the Crocus City Hall in Moscow," Tusk said on X, formerly Twitter.

"We all grieve for the families of the victims. We hope that this terrible tragedy will not become a pretext for anyone to escalate violence and aggression," he added.

Tusk did not name any conflict, but Poland is a key ally of Ukraine in its fight against Russia's invasion.

Although the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, Russian President Vladimir Putin pointed the finger at Kyiv, claiming that the suspects were trying to escape to Ukraine.

He offered no evidence to support his claim. Ukraine has denied any involvement in the attack.

Skip next section US say they 'stand in solidarity with the people of Russia'
March 23, 2024

US say they 'stand in solidarity with the people of Russia'

The United States has strongly condemned the Moscow concert hall attack that has resulted in the deaths of well over 100 people, injuring dozens more.

"We send our deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of those killed and all affected by this heinous crime. We condemn terrorism in all its forms and stand in solidarity with the people of Russia in grieving the loss of life from this horrific event," US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a short statement.

Previously, the White House had said the attack was "terrible" while offering condolences.

Skip next section Four suspected gunmen 'all foreign nationals,' Russian officials say
March 23, 2024

Four suspected gunmen 'all foreign nationals,' Russian officials say

The Russian Interior Ministry said the four suspected gunmen arrested in relation to the concert hall attack were not citizens of the country.

"They are all foreign nationals," the interior ministry said in a statement on Saturday.

Russian media has reported that some were Tajikistan nationals. 

Tajikistan, a former Soviet Republic from 1929 until 1991, borders Afghanistan, where the "Islamic State" group is active.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has vowed to punish all those involved in what he described as a "barbaric" attack.

Putin said the suspects were trying to flee to Ukraine. Kyiv has denied any connection.

The Russian president made no reference to claims of responsibility by the "Islamic State" on Saturday, in his first public address since the attack occurred on Friday.

Skip next section Death toll passes 130
March 23, 2024

Death toll passes 130

The death toll in the attack has risen to 133, Russia's federal investigative agency said on Saturday.

The update from the Investigative Committee comes as authorities "clear the debris."

The attack also left well over 100 people wounded.

Officials said that "search operations are continuing."

Russia detains 4 suspects as death toll rises

Skip next section Putin says attack was a 'barbaric terrorist act'
March 23, 2024

Putin says attack was a 'barbaric terrorist act'

Russian President Vladimir Putin described the attack on a Moscow concert hall as a "barbaric terrorist act."

"I am speaking to you today in connection with the bloody, barbaric terrorist act, the victims of which were dozens of innocent, peaceful people," he said in a televised address.

Putin vowed that all involved in the attack would be punished.

He also announced a day of mourning on Sunday, March 24.

Putin points finger at Ukraine in Moscow attack statement

Skip next section Russia-Paraguay football match canceled
March 23, 2024

Russia-Paraguay football match canceled

Russia has canceled a friendly football match against Paraguay following the deadly mass shooting near Moscow.

The match was due to be held on Monday at Moscow's VTB Arena.

"In connection with the terrorist attack that occurred in Krasnogorsk, the Russian Football Union (RFU) and the Paraguayan Football Association decided to cancel a friendly match between the national teams of Russia and Paraguay," the Russian Football Union said in a statement.

The Paraguayan Football Association said on social media that it decided not to play the match "as a sign of respect for the Russian people and to protect the physical integrity of our players." 

Because Russia was suspended from FIFA and UEFA competitions following the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, it can only play friendly games against international teams.

The RFU has also postponed all matches in its domestic competitions that were scheduled for the weekend.

Skip next section Rescue teams to continue working 'round the clock'
March 23, 2024

Rescue teams to continue working 'round the clock'

Moscow Governor Andrey Vorobyov said rescue workers will continue to scour through rubble at the destroyed concert hall days to come.

"Rescuers are working at the site of the tragedy round the clock ... the work will continue for at least several more days," he said in a post on Telegram.

At least 115 people were killed in the mass shooting, according to Russian authorities.

Rescue workers at the concert hall
The concert hall burnt down during the incidentImage: Russian Emergency Ministry Press Service/AP/picture alliance
Skip next section WATCH: Attack an 'embarrassment' for Russian security services
March 23, 2024

WATCH: Attack an 'embarrassment' for Russian security services

Moscow terrorist attack an 'embarrassment' for the Kremlin

Skip next section Death toll from Moscow shooting rises to 115
March 23, 2024

Death toll from Moscow shooting rises to 115

People lineup to donate blood to help victims of the attack in Crocus City Hall attack
Hundreds of people stood in line at blood banks across Moscow on Saturday to donate blood and plasmaImage: Denis Voronin/Moscow News Agency/AP/picture alliance

The death toll from the Moscow concert hall shooting has risen to 115 people, Russia's Emergency Situations Ministry said on Saturday.

A further 107 people are recovering in hospital, it added.

Gunmen stormed the concert hall on the outskirts of Moscow and opened fire on the crowd, the head of Russia's Federal Security Service told President Vladimir Putin.

The attack was the deadliest in Russia in years.

The Moscow city and regional governments said they would provide financial support for the families of the victims and those injured and pay for funerals.

Skip next section Scholz condemns 'terrible terrorist attack'
March 23, 2024

Scholz condemns 'terrible terrorist attack'

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has condemned the "terrible terrorist attack against innocent concertgoers" in Moscow.

"Our thoughts are with the victims' families and all those wounded," he said in a statement on Saturday.

Skip next section Russia claims attackers were headed for Ukraine border
March 23, 2024

Russia claims attackers were headed for Ukraine border

Russia's FSB security service said the suspected perpetrators of the deadly Moscow concert hall attack were headed toward the Ukrainian border, Interfax reported.

The FSB also said the perpetrators had contacts in Ukraine. It did not provide further information or evidence for these claims.

Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak previously said on Friday that Kyiv had nothing to do with the attack. 

Meanwhile, the so-called "Islamic State" group has claimed responsibility for the attack. Russian authorities were yet to comment on that claim.

On Friday a US intelligence official told several news agencies that the "Islamic State" branch in Afghanistan was planning an attack in Moscow.

The US said it shared information with Russian officials about a planned attack.

Skip next section Death toll climbs to 93
March 23, 2024

Death toll climbs to 93

At least 93 people are confirmed to have been killed in the mass shooting near Moscow on Friday night, Russian authorities said on Saturday.

"At the moment, it has been established that 93 people are dead. The death toll is expected to rise," Russia's Investigative Committee said on Telegram. 

Unidentified men wearing camouflage clothing stormed the Crocus City Hall on Friday shortly before the start of a concert in the town of Krasnogorsk, north-west of Moscow, and opened fire.

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