Mass Shooting at Concert Kills at Least 60

A horrific attack unfolded in Moscow on Friday, as several armed individuals opened fire during a concert, resulting in the death of at least 60 people and injuring 145 others, as per official reports. The terror group ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack through a statement on its affiliated news agency Amaq, posted on Telegram, although no evidence has been provided to support this claim.

The attack took place at the Crocus City Hall, where the Russian rock band Picnic was set to perform for a sold-out crowd. Disturbing footage circulating online shows the attackers, dressed in military uniforms, firing automatic weapons at terrified civilians. Other videos depict the assailants shooting at concertgoers at close range, with bloodied bodies strewn on the ground.

According to Russian media, the attackers also threw explosives, igniting a massive fire in the concert hall, which has a capacity of 6,200 people. The blaze was so intense that it caused the venue’s roof to collapse. Responders managed to evacuate around 100 people from the basement of the building, with helicopters dropping water to combat the flames.

Russia’s Investigative Committee, the country’s top criminal investigation agency, confirmed the death toll and stated that 145 people were injured, with 115, including five children, requiring hospitalization. The agency warned that the number of victims could potentially rise.

Witnesses described a scene of chaos and terror. One anonymous witness told Reuters about hearing gunshots and a burst of firing, which triggered a stampede as people rushed towards the escalator in a desperate attempt to escape. The venue’s security guards, who were unarmed, may be among the casualties.

The fate of the attackers remains unclear, with some reports suggesting they fled the scene before special forces and riot police arrived. A US intelligence official, speaking anonymously, revealed that US intelligence agencies had previously warned Russian officials about a potential attack planned by ISIS’ Afghanistan branch.

Just days before the attack, Russian President Vladimir Putin dismissed warnings from the West about potential terror attacks in Russia as “provocative statements.” ISIS has a history of violent attacks in Russia, including the bombing of a Russian passenger plane over Egypt in 2015, which killed all 224 people on board.

The attack has been described as one of the deadliest in Russia in recent years, with Russia’s foreign ministry labeling it a “bloody terrorist attack.” The White House National Security Adviser, John Kirby, expressed sympathy for the victims and their families, stating that there was no indication of Ukrainian involvement in the attack.

The aftermath of the attack has seen heightened security measures at Moscow’s airports and railway stations, and all mass gatherings in the capital have been canceled for the weekend.