Russia charges four men with attack on concert hall that claimed at least 137 people


MOSCOW – Russia has charged four men it says attacked a Moscow concert hall and killed at least 137 people.

Three were marched bent double into a Moscow court while the fourth was in a wheelchair. All were charged with committing an act of terrorism.

The Islamic State group, or IS, said it carried out Friday’s outrage at Crocus City Hall, and posted video evidence, the BBC reported.

Russian officials had claimed, without evidence, Ukrainian involvement. However, Kyiv said the claims were “absurd”.

The four were named by Russian authorities as Dalerdzhon Mirzoyev, Saidakrami Murodali Rachabalizoda, Shamsidin Fariduni and Muhammadsobir Fayzov.

Video showed three of them being marched by masked police into Basmanny district court in the Russian capital.

All appear to have been beaten – videos of brutal interrogation sessions were apparently leaked by Russian security forces, and reports suggest at least one had suffered electric shocks.

The men the court identified as Mirzoyev and Rachabalizoda had black eyes and the latter’s ear was heavily bandaged – reportedly from it being partially severed during his arrest.

Mirzoyev also appeared to have a torn plastic bag wrapped around his neck.

The face of the man identified as Fariduni was badly swollen, while the man named as Fayzov appeared to lose consciousness as he was brought into court in a wheelchair wearing a thin hospital gown.

He appeared to have an eye missing, according to the Reuters news agency.

All were held in a glass-panelled booth and guarded by masked police during their time in court.

Read More: Alleged Islamic terrorists hit Russia, 60 dead, over 100 injured in a concert attack

A court statement on the Telegram messaging service said Mirzoyev had “admitted his guilt in full”, while Rachabalizoda also “admitted guilt”.

Four gunmen on Friday night stormed the Crocus City Hall in Krasnogorsk, a northern Moscow suburb, and began firing on some of the estimated 6,000 people who were attending a rock concert. The attackers also set fires which engulfed the venue and caused the roof to collapse.

Russian authorities said 137 people were killed and more than 100 injured.

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