More than 60 people were killed in the suspected terrorist attack on an event hall on the outskirts of Moscow. This was reported by the Tass news agency, citing the State Investigative Committee of Russia.

Special units of the Russian National Guard were deployed at the Crocus City Hall in the city of Krasnogorsk in the Moscow region, searching for the perpetrators. People were also brought to safety. It was initially not known how many attackers there were. Videos showed people running for their lives. The background to the attack was initially unclear. The investigative committee began proceedings regarding a suspected act of terrorism, as the authority announced on the Telegram news service.

The terrorist militia Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, as the IS mouthpiece Amak reported on the Internet, citing unnamed sources. Experts assumed that this letter of confession was genuine.

That happened

According to authorities, there were shots and explosions in the event hall on the night of the crime. The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office said several unknown assailants wearing camouflage-colored clothing stormed the Crocus City Hall shortly before a concert by the rock group Piknik and opened fire. Western embassies had recently warned of terrorist attacks in Moscow. The Kremlin described this as a provocation by the West.

The Russian Civil Defense Ministry 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. 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 for hours. The Russian Ministry of Health said 145 people were injured, including children. 115 of them were taken to hospitals. Around 60 adults were seriously injured.

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.

Putin informed “from the first minute”.

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.

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 Foreign Ministry rejected suspicions of Ukrainian involvement. 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 yet, but at this early stage we strongly advise against the assumption that there is a connection to Ukraine. The US State Department advised local American citizens to avoid large gatherings of people.

Kyiv and Washington deny connections

The European Union condemned the attack. The EU 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.