ISIS claims responsibility for attack at Moscow concert that left over 133 dead


RUSSIA – The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has claimed responsibility for an attack at a popular concert hall complex near Moscow Friday which left at least 133 people dead and injuring over 145.

This was after assailants stormed the venue with guns and incendiary devices.

A report by BBC revealed that the terror group took responsibility for the attack in a short statement published by ISIS-affiliated news agency Amaq on Telegram on Friday.

It did not provide evidence to support the claim.

Video footage from the Crocus City Hall showed the vast complex, which was home to both the music hall and a shopping center, on fire with smoke billowing into the air.

State-run RIA Novosti reported the armed individuals “opened fire with automatic weapons” and “threw a grenade or an incendiary bomb, which started a fire.”

They then “allegedly fled in a white Renault car,” the news agency said.

Read more: Death toll rises to 133 from Friday’s Moscow attack said to be worst in country’s modern history

The deadliest terror attack on Moscow in decades, Friday’s assault came less than a week after President Vladimir Putin won a stage-managed election by an overwhelming majority to secure another term in office, tightening his grip on the country he has ruled since the turn of the century.

With attention focused on the country’s war with neighboring Ukraine, Putin had trumpeted a message of national security before Russians went to the polls.

The carnage broke out before a concert by the band Picnic, according to Russia 24.

“Unidentified people in camouflage broke into Crocus City Hall and started shooting before the start of the concert,” the Prosecutor General’s Office said, cited by TASS.

Video footage showed panic as the attack unfolded, with crowds of people huddling together, screaming and ducking behind cushioned seats as gunshots started echoing in the vast hall.

One group sheltering next to a large wall of windows outside the concert venue were forced to break them to escape the gunfire, video obtained by CNN shows.

Footage geolocated by CNN shows an armed individual starting at least one fire inside the venue.

The individual was seen carrying something in their hand and, as they walked off-screen, a bright flash of light from a large flame is seen in the video.

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