ISIS claims responsibility for attack at Moscow-area concert venue that left at least 60 dead

 ISIS claimed responsibility for an attack on a popular music complex near Moscow on Friday after attackers stormed the venue with weapons and incendiary devices, killing at least 60 people and wounding 145 others.

The terrorist organization claimed responsibility for the attack in a brief statement published by the ISIS-affiliated Amaq Agency on Telegram on Friday. No evidence was provided to support this claim.

Video footage from Crocus City Hall shows the huge complex, which includes the music hall and shopping mall, engulfed in flames and smoke billowing into the air. The government agency RIA Novosti reported that the gunmen "opened fire from automatic weapons" and "threw a grenade or incendiary bomb, causing a fire." The agency added that they "then fled in a white Renault car."

State media outlet Russia 24 reported that the roof of the venue had partially collapsed.

The fire was largely contained after more than six hours. “There are still some pockets of fire, but the fire has been mostly extinguished,” Moscow Governor Andrei Vorobyov said via Telegram.

Friday's attack, the deadliest terrorist attack on Moscow in decades, came less than a week after President Vladimir Putin won a fraudulent election in a landslide to secure another term in office, strengthening his grip on the country he has ruled since changing the government. Century.

With attention focused on the country's war with neighboring Ukraine, Putin announced a national security message before Russians headed to the polls.

The massacre occurred before a concert by the band Picnic, according to Russia 24 channel. The band's manager told state media that the artists were unharmed.

“Unidentified persons wearing camouflage clothing stormed Crocus City Hall and started shooting before the concert began,” TASS quoted the Prosecutor General’s Office as saying.

This screenshot from a video shows armed men inside the Crocus City Hall concert hall in the Moscow region, Russia. CNN cannot verify whether these were the armed attackers or Russian authorities who entered.

This screenshot from a video shows armed men inside the Crocus City Hall concert hall in the Moscow region of Russia. CNN cannot verify whether these were armed attackers or access to Russian authorities. social networks

Video footage showed a state of panic as the attack occurred, as crowds of people gathered, screaming and hiding behind padded seats, while gunshots began to echo in the spacious hall. A video clip obtained by CNN showed that a group took shelter next to a large wall of windows outside the concert hall, which they had to break to escape the gunfire.

Images geolocated by CNN show an armed person starting at least one fire inside the site. The person is shown holding something in his hand, and as he walks off-screen, a bright flash of light from a large flame appears in the video.

A rapid intervention team was called to the area, and more than 70 ambulance crews and paramedics assisted the victims.

One hundred and forty-five people were taken to hospital, TASS reported. Sixty people are in "serious condition."

According to the Kremlin, Putin was informed of the attack and is being informed of the actions on the ground.

The official RIA Novosti news agency reported that the president on Saturday wished a speedy recovery to those injured in the attack. He also expressed his gratitude to the doctors,” Rhea added.

TASS reported that firefighters evacuated about 100 people from the building. According to the Ministry of Emergency Situations, rescue teams are still working to remove people from the roofs.

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin described the attack as a "terrible tragedy."

“My deepest condolences to the loved ones of the victims. “I have given orders to provide all necessary assistance to all who suffered during the incident,” Sobyanin said in a statement.

Sobyanin said on Telegram that he would cancel all sporting, cultural and other public events in Moscow this weekend.

Shaman, singer of the band Picnic, said he would bear the costs of the victims' funerals and treatment of the injured.

“We are all a big family. In a family there is no such thing as the pain of others,” the singer, known for his nationalist views, said in a video clip he posted on the Russian social network VKontakte to his more than 600,000 followers.

“My people, any trouble or misfortune has always united our country. They have made Russia tougher and stronger. This time it will not be possible to scare us and break us either.”

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