The terrorist militia “Islamic State” has claimed responsibility for the attack on the event center near Moscow that left dozens dead and injured. The IS mouthpiece Amak reported this on the Internet on Friday, citing unnamed sources. A search is underway for the attackers. Special units of the Russian National Guard were deployed at the Crocus City Hall in the city of Krasnogorsk in the evening. The emergency services said they were looking for the criminals. In addition, people would be brought to safety.

It was initially not known how many attackers there were. Russia’s Central Investigative Committee has opened a case into a suspected “act of terrorism,” the agency announced on the Telegram news service.

According to authorities, there had previously been shots and explosions in the event hall. Unidentified people wearing camouflage clothing stormed the Crocus City Hall shortly before the start of a concert and opened fire, the Russian Prosecutor General’s Office said. According to the Russian domestic secret service FSB, the gunmen killed 40 people. In addition, according to initial findings, more than 140 people were injured, the authority was quoted by the Russian news agency Interfax.

Western embassies had recently warned of terrorist attacks in Moscow. The Kremlin described this as a provocation by the West.

The Russian Ministry of Civil Defense said that the building, which also houses a concert hall with thousands of seats, was engulfed in flames over an area of ​​13,000 square meters. So far it has not been possible to put out the fire. Firefighting helicopters were also used. Blazing flames and a huge cloud of smoke could be seen on the building. The roof is said to have collapsed. Dozens of ambulances and many buses were deployed to bring people to safety. The situation was confusing.

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.

According to the Kremlin, Russian President Vladimir Putin has been 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.