'Eleven people arrested' after 115 shot dead and over 100 hurt in Moscow, including four 'directly involved in attack'

23 March 2024, 08:05 | Updated: 23 March 2024, 10:40

At least 60 people have died after the attack in Moscow
At least 60 people have died after the attack in Moscow. Picture: Getty/Alamy

By Kit Heren

Eleven people have been arrested after 115 people were shot dead and over 100 were hurt in a Moscow terrorist attack.

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Four of the eleven were "directly involved" in the attack, for which ISIS has claimed responsibility.

Russian outlets reported that security services had given President Vladimir Putin this update.

The attack came when three gunmen dressed in camouflage burst into the Crocus City Hall in Krasnogorsk on the edge of Moscow on Friday evening, spraying visitors with automatic gunfire and killing dozens.

Some 112 people were admitted to hospital, with more than 100 still being treated on Saturday morning.

The attackers also set the building on fire, with part of the roof near the theatre collapsing. The fire is thought to have been extinguished by Saturday morning.

Russia has linked Ukraine with the attacks, saying that the terrorists planned to escape west across the border. Ukraine has vehemently denied any link.

Russian MP Alexander Khinshtein said that two suspects had been arrested about 235 miles south-west of Moscow after failing to stop the Renault they were driving when asked by police in a village in the Bryansk region.

He said that shots had been fired and one of the suspects was arrested, and others hid in the woods. Security services searched for them and found one at about 3.50 in the morning, he claimed. The hunt is ongoing for the others.

Mr Khinshtein also claimed that a pistol, ammunition for an assault rifle and Tajikistan passports were found in the car.

Mr Khinshtein's claim has not been independently verified.

Read more: ISIS claims responsibility for Moscow concert hall shooting after gunmen opened fire on venue

Read more: 'All glory to Russia': Putin addresses crowds in Moscow after sham election victory

A law enforcement officer patrols the scene of the gun attack at the Crocus City Hall concert hall in Krasnogorsk
A law enforcement officer patrols the scene of the gun attack at the Crocus City Hall concert hall in Krasnogorsk. Picture: Getty

The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the terror attack on its Telegram channel on Friday evening.

Russian ex-president Dmitry Medvedev and ally of Vladimir Putin said in a statement on Telegram that those responsible must be “found and ruthlessly destroyed”. Putin himself has not commented publicly.

Interpol has offered to help with the investigation, adding: "Our thoughts are with the victims, and their families and friends."

In this photo taken from video released by Investigative Committee of Russia on Saturday, March 23, 2024, a Kalashnikov assault rifle lies on the ground
In this photo taken from video released by Investigative Committee of Russia on Saturday, March 23, 2024, a Kalashnikov assault rifle lies on the ground. Picture: Alamy

Meanwhile Ukraine has strongly denied any involvement in the attack, and officials said they were worried it could be used as a pretext to bolster attacks on Ukrainian civilians.

Mykhailo Podolyak, a senior adviser to the Ukrainian president, said: "There is not the slightest doubt that the events in the Moscow suburbs will contribute to a sharp increase in military propaganda, accelerated militarization, expanded mobilization, and, ultimately, the scaling up of the war."

The search for the attackers remains ongoing.
The search for the attackers remains ongoing. Picture: Alamy

White House national security adviser John Kirby said there was no indication that the Ukraine had any involvement in the incident.

Russia said if the US was sure that Ukraine was not involved it should share any information it had with them.

More than 100 people have been injured in the shooting.
More than 100 people have been injured in the shooting. Picture: Alamy

Footage taken at the scene of the shooting shows dozens of people taking cover in the hall while gunshots can be heard firing in the background.

The attackers threw explosives which also caused a huge blaze at the concert hall, with Russian media reporting that the venue’s roof was collapsing.

At least 60 have been killed in the attack.
At least 60 have been killed in the attack. Picture: Alamy

Around a third of the building had been set alight, according to a Tass state news agency.

Evacuations were carried out but an unknown number of people may have been trapped in the blaze, according to reports.

Russia’s top investigative agency said it is investigating the incident as a terrorist attack.

Russia's Federal Security Service, the FSB, said in a statement: "All possible measures are being taken to provide assistance to those affected as a result of the terrorist attack in the Crocus City Hall."

Explosives used by the attackers set the building alight.
Explosives used by the attackers set the building alight. Picture: Alamy

Images taken at the scene of the attack shows a huge blaze alight at the building with clouds of billowing smoke.

Other footage shared by Russian media and Telegram channels show two men with rifles moving through the venue’s mall with long rounds of gunfire heard in the background.

Russian authorities said security had been tightened at the airports and railways stations in Moscow.

President Vladimir Putin is receiving regular updates on the incident at Crocus City Hall, Kremlin spokesman  Dmitry Peskov said.

He said: “Vladimir Putin was informed about the beginning of the shooting in the first minutes of what happened in Crocus City Hall.”

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