Note: This article is continually updated.

Key facts at a glance:

After the armed attack on a concert hall on the outskirts of Moscow, the number of dead has risen to at least 115, according to authorities, including three children. When clearing away the rubble in the center’s concert hall, emergency services found more bodies, the Moscow Investigative Committee said on Telegram on Saturday morning. The authorities also estimated that more than 100 people were injured. According to the Russian Ministry of Health, 44 are seriously injured.

Russian President Vladimir Putin condemned the deadly lunchtime attack as a “barbaric terrorist act.” In a televised address, Putin said all attackers had been arrested and were trying to flee to Ukraine. All those responsible for the attack would be “punished”. The Kremlin leader set a national day of mourning for Sunday.

According to Russian information, several suspects were arrested in the morning; there are eleven arrests. FSB chief Alexander Bortnikov said this on Saturday, according to the Russian state news agency Tass. Among them are four people who are suspected of being directly involved in the attack, reports the Interfax news agency, citing the Kremlin. They are in the process of identifying additional accomplices. President Vladimir Putin was informed about the arrests by the domestic secret service FSB.

A member of parliament had recently spoken of two suspicious people being arrested. Alexander Chinschtein said on the messaging service Telegram that they were caught after a car chase. The suspected getaway vehicle was stopped in the Bryansk region with weapons inside. Other suspects fled on foot into a forest.

The attack was carried out by several gunmen on Crocus City Hall. This is a thousands-seat concert hall in Krasnogorsk, northwest of Moscow, where the Russian rock group Piknik was scheduled to play a concert on Friday evening. There, perpetrators shot at visitors indiscriminately. People who ran for their lives and those injured reported many casualties on social networks. There were also explosions in the building and a major fire.

The background to what happened was completely unclear; the Russian security authorities were investigating terrorism. The jihadist militia Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for the attack on Friday, as the IS mouthpiece Amak reported on the Internet, citing unnamed sources. Experts assumed that this letter of confession was genuine.

It was also unclear how the men in camouflage uniforms and heavily armed were able to get into the concert hall. The Russian capital Moscow is considered a safe city with a large number of security forces, surveillance cameras and metal detectors in many places. However, the secret services of the USA and other Western countries warned of an impending attack at the beginning of March. After his re-election last Sunday, President Vladimir Putin dismissed this as a Western provocation.

As the shots rang out, attendees in the massive event center ran for their lives, videos showed. Individual dead or injured people could also be seen lying on the ground. According to eyewitness accounts on social media, many visitors to Crocus City Hall took a long time to get out of the building. Investigators later found weapons and a lot of ammunition. Authorities collected empty cartridge cases by the bagful.

The building also caught fire during the attack. The Russian Civil Defense Ministry named an area of ​​13,000 square meters that was in flames. Firefighting helicopters were in use. The roof is said to have collapsed. Even though it was said that the fire was under control, open flames were again coming out of the building early on Saturday morning, as reported by the Tass agency. Dozens of ambulances and many buses were deployed to bring people to safety.

The Crocus City Hall has several event halls that are also used for trade fairs. It is one of the most popular leisure spots for Muscovites and those living in the surrounding areas of the Russian capital. Stars have appeared there again and again. There was supposed to be a concert by the Russian rock band Piknik on Friday evening.

On Saturday morning, the situation at Crocus City Hall was quiet. Emergency services extinguished embers after the major fire, as the fire department announced. After the fire has been completely extinguished, the rubble from the collapsed roof of the concert hall should be removed. The police, national guard and investigative committee recorded the damage and secured evidence. In addition, the search for the perpetrators who managed to escape continued.

According to the Kremlin, Russian President Vladimir Putin was informed about the events “from the first minute.” According to the Interfax agency, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that he constantly receives all important information about what is happening and the measures taken via the relevant services. Putin later wished the injured a speedy recovery and thanked the doctors for their efforts.

The head of the Federation Council, the upper house of the Russian parliament, Valentina Matviyenko, threatened the masterminds of the attack with retaliation. “Those behind this terrible crime will receive the deserved and inevitable punishment,” she wrote on her Telegram channel. At the same time, she announced, the state would do everything it could to help those left behind.

The Ukrainian leadership has rejected allegations from Russia as “absurd”. “It was clear that the version of the Russian authorities would be ‘the Ukrainian trail,'” Ukrainian presidential adviser Mychailo Podolyak said on Saturday in the short message service X. “The statements of the Russian services regarding Ukraine are completely untenable and absurd.” Ukraine has no connection whatsoever to the incident. According to the Tass news agency, the Russian domestic secret service FSB said the attackers had “contacts” in Ukraine and tried to flee there after their crime.

In an initial reaction, the USA also warned not to establish any connection with Ukraine. “There is no evidence that Ukraine or Ukrainians had anything to do with the shooting,” US National Security Council communications director John Kirby said in Washington. Not much can be said about the details so far, but at this early stage we strongly advise against the assumption that there is a connection to Ukraine. The US State Department recommended that American citizens avoid large gatherings of people.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova reacted angrily to this statement from Washington. It was premature for the USA to exonerate Ukraine, she said on Russian television. “If the United States or any other country has reliable facts, they should provide them to the Russian side.” If there were no such facts, neither the White House nor anyone else would have the right to give advance absolution, Zakharova said.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) strongly condemned the deadly attack. “We condemn the terrible terrorist attack on innocent concert-goers in Moscow,” he wrote on the Internet service X on Saturday. “Our thoughts are with the relatives of the victims and all those injured.”

The European Union is shocked and horrified, wrote EU Commission spokesman Peter Stano on the X platform (formerly Twitter). The EU condemns any attacks on civilians. “Our thoughts are with all affected Russian citizens.” UN Secretary-General António Guterres and the UN Security Council also condemned the attack.

The Foreign Office wrote on X about a “terrible attack on innocent people.” The background needs to be clarified quickly. “Our deepest condolences go out to the families of the victims,” it said. Bundestag Vice President Katrin Göring-Eckardt (Greens) also spoke on X of a “cowardly attack on people who just wanted to listen to music.”

As a consequence of the attack, all theaters and museums in Moscow will remain closed over the weekend, including world-famous ones such as the Tretyakov Gallery and the Pushkin Museum. Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin had previously said that all major events in Europe’s largest city had been canceled. The authorities also canceled mass events in the Moscow area.

In 2002, Chechen gunmen took control of 850 people in a musical theater. On the fourth day of the drama, the domestic secret service stunned the captors and the hostages with a gas. The terrorists were shot. 135 hostages died, most of them due to inadequate medical care.