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Victims Named, Arrests Made After 133 Killed in Moscow Concert Massacre

In a devastating event that has shocked the world, a mass shooting at a Moscow concert hall has left 133 people dead and another 145 injured. The attack, which took place at the Crocus City Hall, has led to a massive manhunt and subsequent arrests.

Discovery and Initial Investigation

Dramatic footage has emerged showing the moment Russian authorities apprehended the gunmen believed to be responsible for the massacre. Three men were detained, with videos circulating online depicting their capture by a group of soldiers. The suspects claimed they were paid to carry out the attack, which ISIS has since claimed responsibility for.

One suspect, seen barefoot with his arms and legs bound, had blood streaming from his forehead. Another, visibly trembling on his knees, confessed to the mass shooting. “I was listening to a preacher’s teaching on Telegram,” he explained during an interrogation. He claimed that an assistant had contacted him with instructions to kill people, promising him a reward of one million roubles (approximately $16,612).

Arrests and Confessions

The suspect, who identified himself as Fariduni Shamsidin, stated he had flown from Turkey on March 4 and received further instructions via Telegram. Another suspect admitted to being promised 500,000 roubles ($8,328) and had already received half of that amount.

Russian authorities captured the suspects in the Bryansk region. Videos released by Russian authorities show the three men in custody, with their detainment reportedly facilitated by Chechen fighters loyal to President Vladimir Putin.

Suspects and Charges

The Russian media identified the four suspected gunmen as Makhmadrasul Nasridinov, 27, Rivozhidin Ismonov, 51, Shokhindzhonn Safolzoda, 21, and Rustam Nazarov, 29. In total, eleven people have been arrested in connection with the attack. The head of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) informed President Putin of these detentions.

The suspects, all foreign nationals, allegedly planned to flee to Ukraine following the attack. Putin vowed to identify and punish everyone involved, describing the attackers as “cold-blooded criminals.”

The Attack

On Friday night, local time, gunmen stormed the Crocus City Hall during a concert by Russian pop group Picnic. Reports suggest that they entered the venue through both the main entrance and an underground parking lot. Once inside, they opened fire on the crowd of approximately 6,200 people and set fire to the building using a flammable liquid. The ensuing chaos and fire significantly contributed to the high casualty count.

Casualties and Response

Russia’s Investigative Committee reported that the number of fatalities had risen to 133 by Saturday night, with many others critically injured. Health Minister Mikhail Murashko stated that 115 people were hospitalized, including five children, with 60 victims in serious condition. So far, 50 of the deceased have been identified, including a married couple who had received concert tickets as an early birthday present.

Witness Accounts

Survivors have recounted the terror of the attack. One witness, Vitaly, described hearing gunshots and seeing terrorists shooting people and throwing petrol bombs. Another witness detailed the panic and crush as people tried to escape, with some even crawling out of the building.

International Reactions and Further Investigations

ISIS-K, a splinter group of ISIS, claimed responsibility for the attack via their Amaq news agency. This group has a history of targeting Russia, often criticizing President Putin and accusing Russia of atrocities against Muslims. US officials confirmed ongoing threats from ISIS against Russia, with warnings dating back to November.

Government and Expert Reactions

Matthew Sussex, a Russia expert, suggested that Russia’s response would likely be severe, drawing parallels to the aftermath of previous terrorist attacks in the country. He emphasized that the focus might not only be on the perpetrators but also on those the Russian government deems responsible.

Conclusion

The attack on Crocus City Hall marks one of the deadliest mass shootings in recent history. As Russia mourns the loss of 133 lives, the international community watches closely, awaiting further developments and the inevitable response from the Russian government. The incident underscores the ongoing threat of terrorism and the profound impact such attacks have on nations and their people.


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