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Deadly Moscow terrorist attack: What’s known so far

A large concert venue near Moscow became the scene of a mass shooting late Friday. The massacre has left over 100 people dead, including children, and is one of the worst terrorist attacks in Russia’s modern history. 

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According to the latest estimates, at least 133 people were killed and scores injured in the deadly shooting and subsequent fire sparked by a group of gunmen who stormed the Crocus City Hall, a large music venue just outside of the Russian capital.

Details are still emerging, but according to Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), the attack was carefully planned and designed to maximize casualties. An investigation into the incident is underway. Here is what is known so far.

Perpetrators detained

Eleven people, including four terrorists who were directly involved in the deadly shooting, have been detained, the FSB said in a statement on Saturday.

According to the security service, the weapons used in the shooting were organized in a cache in advance.

Russia’s Investigative Committee also confirmed that four suspects who “committed the terrorist attack” on Crocus City Hall were detained in Bryansk Region, “not far from the border with Ukraine.”

According to the authorities, the terrorists planned to flee to Ukraine.

Death toll rises

According to the Investigative Committee, as of Saturday afternoon, the death toll in the attack has risen to at least 133 people, including three children, as more bodies have been discovered in the rubble. The Moscow Region Health Ministry said that at least 121 people were wounded, with 107 requiring hospitalization. Emergency services continue to work at the site.

READ MORE: Death toll in Moscow concert hall attack climbs to 133 – investigators

Putin’s address to the nation

Russian President Vladimir Putin addressed the nation following the terrorist attack at the Crocus City Hall. He expressed his condolences to the victims and families affected by the shooting, and said that everyone responsible for the tragedy will be punished.

All the attackers involved have been arrested and the security forces are doing everything possible to protect Russian citizens against further mass murder, the president added.

The main thing now is to prevent those who are behind this bloodbath from committing another crime, he said in the address on Saturday.

Terrorist attack suspect interrogated

On Saturday, RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan posted footage of the interrogation of one of the suspects. The man in the video claims that he went on the killing spree after he was promised 500,000 rubles ($5,400). The suspect also claimed that his handlers had instructed him as to where the attack should take place. He said he was ordered to “kill people there… doesn’t matter who.” The suspect claimed that the terrorist act was organized on Telegram with an unknown person who provided weapons.

READ MORE: First interrogation of Moscow terrorist attack suspect (VIDEO)

Indiscriminate mass shooting

The Crocus City Hall in the town of Krasnogorsk, on the western outskirts of Moscow, was attacked by gunmen on Friday night. It happened before a concert by Russian rock band Picnic. The venue, which has an estimated capacity of 7,500, was almost full.

The attackers killed unarmed security guards at the entrance to the venue, and blocked it before continuing their rampage inside.

According to eyewitnesses, the gunmen opened fire at point-blank range on anyone who came within view. The assailants then set the building on fire.

The blaze quickly spread across much of the building, including the roof. Multiple fire brigades and aircraft were deployed to put out the fire. The Emergencies Ministry said that around 13,000 square meters of the seven-story building were engulfed in flames.

Condolences and condemnation

Governments from across the world have sent messages of condolences and support for the Russian people following the massacre.

International organizations, as well as EU and NATO officials, have condemned the terrorist attack.

READ MORE: Moscow terrorist attack: World sends condolences and condemnation

Hundreds of mourners placed flowers at Moscow’s diplomatic missions in Mexico, Moldova, Serbia, Canada, the US, and Argentina. 

Meanwhile, dozens of Muscovites have been lining up at the city’s hospitals to donate blood to the victims of the deadly shooting.

US security alerts

Earlier this month, the US issued a warning to its citizens in Russia, urging them to avoid public places and mass gatherings. The embassy claimed that “extremists” had imminent plans for an attack in Moscow. Several other embassies followed suit, issuing similar alerts. However, White House adviser John Kirby has said Washington had no specific “advance knowledge” of Friday’s shooting.

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