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Moscow terror attack: Suspects detained as death toll hits 115

Moscow terror attack: Suspects detained as death toll hits 115

by host

Russian authorities arrested 11 people in connection with Friday’s terrorist attack on a Moscow concert hall, as the death toll in the shooting rampage rose to more than 100.

A branch of the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the carnage, one of the most serious attacks Moscow has experienced in recent years.

Four of the people detained were directly involved in the attack, Russia’s Investigative Committee said. The suspects were stopped in the Bryansk region of western Russia, “not far from the border with Ukraine,” it said.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova seized on the implications regarding Ukraine. “Now we know in which country these murderous bastards were planning to hide from prosecution — Ukraine,” Zakharova said on social media on Saturday.

Ukraine, which has been defending itself from Russia’s full-scale invasion for two years, denied any responsibility. Mykhailo Podolyak, a spokesperson for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, said Kyiv has “nothing to do” with the attack.

The shooting at the Crocus City Hall venue killed at least 115 people, including three children, authorities said. More than 100 other people were injured. Searches for more victims “will continue for at least several days,” Russian news agency Ria Novosti reported.

The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) reported the arrests to Russian President Vladimir Putin, “including four terrorists directly involved in the terrorist attack on Crocus City Hall,” Russian news agency Tass reported. Putin has not publicly addressed the situation yet.

After the attack, “the criminals tried to escape by driving toward the Russian-Ukrainian border” and they “had relevant contacts on the Ukrainian side,” the FSB said in a statement, according to Ria Novosti. “They are currently being transferred to Moscow,” the FSB said.

On March 7, the U.S. Embassy in the Russian capital issued a warning to U.S. citizens saying it was monitoring “reports that extremists have imminent plans to target large gatherings in Moscow, to include concerts.”

The U.S. intelligence services had collected information that a branch of the Islamic State known as ISIS-K and based in Afghanistan was planning an attack on Moscow, the New York Times reported. U.S. officials are said to have shared intelligence on an impending attack with Russian authorities, the newspaper said.

“The American authorities should not forget how their information and political environment linked the terrorists who shot people in Crocus City Hall to the banned terrorist organization ISIS,”Zakharovam the Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson, said in her Telegram post.

This article has been updated.

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