Attack in Russia: automatic weapons, fire, IS claim... What we know about the bloody attack

Vladymyr Putin has declared that Sunday will be a day of national mourning following the announcement of the deaths of around 100 people following the attack on Friday (March 22) near Moscow, Russia.

Attack in Russia: automatic weapons, fire, IS claim... What we know about the bloody attack

Vladymyr Putin has declared that Sunday will be a day of national mourning following the announcement of the deaths of around 100 people following the attack on Friday (March 22) near Moscow, Russia. Searches in the rubble and the investigation continue.

A hundred dead. President Vladimir Putin has announced that Sunday will be a day of national mourning. The latest reports estimate that more than 130 people have died. From New York to Moscow, tributes are multiplying as the circumstances of the attack become clearer.

Investigators, who opened an investigation for a "terrorist act", announced that the attackers "used an flammable liquid to set fire to the concert hall where spectators were", specifying that they had seized "automatic weapons" used during this assault, reports Ouest-France.

According to a journalist present at the Crocus City Hall concert hall, located near Moscow, on Friday evening, the individuals fired at the crowd before throwing a "grenade" or "fire bomb", which caused a fire . Information confirmed by Russian news agencies.

Searches in the rubble will continue for "several days", warns Governor Andreï Vorobiov, on Télégramme, relays the daily. The death toll rose to around a hundred on Saturday March 23. According to the first elements of the investigation, the causes of these deaths are “gunshot wounds” and inhalation of fire smoke, indicated the Investigative Committee.

Russian diplomacy denounced a “bloody terrorist attack”. Ouest-France explains that Russia has already been the target of numerous terrorist attacks in the past. In 1999, hundreds of Russians were killed in two building explosions. 130 people were killed three years later during a hostage-taking in a theater. The heavy toll of the Crocus City Hall attack places this attack among the deadliest in the country's history.

On Saturday March 23, the director of the Russian security services (FSB), Alexander Bortnikov announced "the arrest of eleven people, including the four terrorists directly involved in the attack", according to Russian press agencies, reports the French newspaper . In a televised speech, Russian President Vladimir Putin assured that the alleged attackers arrested this Saturday "are foreign citizens", relays BFMTV.

The Islamic State (IS) group, which had already claimed responsibility for the attack on Friday evening, has just claimed on Telegram that four of its fighters carried out the attack using machine guns, a pistol, knives and bombs. incendiaries", before adding that the attack takes place "in the context [...] of the war raging" between the group and "the countries fighting Islam", reports Ouest-France.

The Afghan branch, the Islamic State group in Khorasan (EI-K), is the first suspect for experts of global terrorism, reveals Le Parisien, recalling that the organization had strongly criticized Russia for its invasion of Ukraine and its military interventions in Africa and Syria, explains the daily. Furthermore, the suicide attack against the Russian embassy in Afghanistan in 2022 and the fact that the group is working on its expansion towards Russia, in particular with the creation of a Russian-language media outlet, are all elements that could confirm this lead.

"At the beginning of this month, the American government had information about a planned terrorist attack in Moscow [...]", declared Adrienne Watson, spokesperson for the American National Security Council, adding that the United States- United had warned Russia, specifying that it could be targeted during “large gatherings, including concerts”, relays Ouest-France.

The suspects were arrested in a border region with Ukraine and planned to flee there, according to the FSB. kyiv denies any involvement of Ukraine in this attack. Interpol said its services were ready to help Russian investigators.

​​​​​​Faced with the tragedy, and despite ideological differences, international reactions multiplied from Friday March 22. The White House sent its thoughts to the victims of the attack. The European Union said it was “shocked and dismayed”. One of its spokespersons, Peter Stano, published a message on the social network Russian citizens affected. The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs also reacted on social networks. “The images reaching us from Moscow are terrible. Our thoughts are with the victims and the injured and with the Russian people. Full light must be shed on these heinous acts,” he wrote.

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