60 killed and 100+ injured in deadly attack on crowded Moscow music hall, ISIS claims responsibility News
JuliánAlejandroS, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
60 killed and 100+ injured in deadly attack on crowded Moscow music hall, ISIS claims responsibility

Camoflauge-clad individuals opened fire on a crowded concert hall and shopping complex just outside of Moscow on Friday before setting the structure ablaze, according to local official statements and media reports.

According to a number of social media reports, ISIS claimed responsibility for the attacks. In early March, the US Embassy in Moscow warned its citizens to stay away from large gatherings due to the “immanent” threat of a terror attack. This occurred just after Russian authorities announced they had killed ISIS fighters who planned to attack a synagogue.

Through his Telegram account, Moscow City Mayor Sergey Sobyanin wrote: “A terrible tragedy occurred today in Crocus City shopping center.” He said he had instructed emergency personnel to provide all possible assistance and had opted to cancel all sporting, cultural, and other public events in Moscow this weekend.

Russia’s Investigative Committee estimated that more than 60 people had been killed, according to RIA Novosti, which also reported that 110 adults and five children were hospitalized as a result of the attack.

Video footage published on Russian social media/chat platform Telegram showed graphic images of violent attacks by individuals dressed head to toe in camouflage. Photos posted to Russian social media also showed the complex in flames. Disturbing footage captured extended gunfire exchanges, individuals brandishing rifles, and heart-wrenching scenes of attackers callously targeting innocent victims at close range, evoking shock and horror across the nation.

Local media outlets 112 and Baza reported that as many as 100 individuals may still have been trapped inside the burning structure as of the time of writing.

The Crocus City attack, which resulted in both fatalities and injuries, marks the most severe terrorist incident in Russia in the past two decades. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

The attack occurred days after President Vladimir Putin solidified his nearly three-decade-long rule through a meticulously orchestrated electoral triumph.

US White House National Security Communications Advisor John Kirby expressed profound dismay at the distressing visuals emerging from the tragedy, underscoring the profound impact of the calamitous events that have unfolded saying, “the images are just horrible … and just hard to watch.”

Ukraine’s foreign ministry repudiated accusations that it was involved in the attack, instead casting the blame on the Kremlin. The ministry wrote, in part:

We consider such accusations to be a planned provocation by the Kremlin to further fuel anti-Ukrainian hysteria in Russian society, create conditions for increased mobilisation of Russian citizens to participate in the criminal aggression against our country and discredit Ukraine in the eyes of the international community.

JURIST Editorial Director Ingrid Burke Friedman, Deputy Editorial Director William Hibbitts, and Interviews Managing Editor James Joseph contributed to this report.