Putin announces March 24 as day of national mourning, calls Moscow attack ‘barbaric terrorist act’

Image Source : AP Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday announced March 24 as the day of mourning in the country and called the attack in the Crocus City Hall near Moscow, a barbaric terrorist act. As many as 143 people were killed while several close to a hundred others were injured after terrorists opened fire at them in a concert.   

He said, “I am speaking to you today in connection with the bloody, barbaric terrorist act, the victims of which were dozens of innocent, peaceful people. I declare 24th March a day of national mourning.”

He further said, “They tried to escape; they were moving toward the border of Ukraine. The investigative authority will do everything to identify them. These criminals went specifically to kill our people. We expect that other nations that share our pain to cooperate with us. These terrorists have no nationality.”

On Russian authorities pointing fingers at the Ukrainian government for the attack, Ukraine has strongly denied any involvement in the attack. Ukraine’s foreign ministry also denied that the country had any involvement and accused Moscow of using the attack to try to stoke fervor for its war efforts.

Images shared by Russian state media Saturday showed a fleet of emergency vehicles still gathered outside the ruins of Crocus City Hall, which had a maximum capacity of more than 6,000 people.

11 attackers arrested

All 11 attackers involved in the shooting and fire incident have been arrested, reported news agency Reuters. Earlier, the head of Russia’s Federal Security Service told Putin that four people directly involved in the attack were among 11 people detained, Russian state news agency Tass said.

Eleven people have been detained after gunmen stormed a concert hall in Moscow and opened fire on the crowd, the head of Russia’s Federal Security Service told President Vladimir Putin on Saturday, according to Russian state news agency Tass.”

Islamic State claims responsibility of attack 

The Islamic State group released a statement, posted by its Aamaq news agency, and said that it attacked a large gathering in Krasnogorsk on Moscow’s outskirts, killing and wounding hundreds.

Earlier this month, Russia’s top security agency said it thwarted an attack on a synagogue in Moscow by a cell of the Islamic State group. Russian authorities also said that six alleged IS members were killed in Ingushetia in Russia’s volatile Caucasus region.

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