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US Warned Russia About Terror Attack

Russia attack
A massive blaze is seen over the Crocus City Hall on the western edge of Moscow, Russia (Photo: Sergei Vedyashkin/AP)

The United States warned Russia about the possibility of an attack in Moscow, said Adrienne Watson, spokesperson for the White House National Security Council.

“Earlier this month, the US government had information about a planned terrorist attack in Moscow – potentially targeting large gatherings, to include concerts – which prompted the State Department to issue a public advisory to Americans in Russia. The US government also shared this information with Russian authorities in accordance with its longstanding ‘duty to warn’ policy,” she added.

The Islamic State has taken responsibility for the attack. The United States has intelligence confirming Islamic State’s claim of responsibility for the deadly shooting.

Earlier, assailants burst into a large concert hall in Moscow on Friday and sprayed the crowd with gunfire, killing over 60 people, injuring more than 100 and setting fire to the venue in a brazen attack just days after President Vladimir Putin cemented his grip on power in a highly orchestrated electoral landslide.

The attack, which left the concert hall in flames with a collapsing roof, was the deadliest in Russia in years and came as the country’s war in Ukraine dragged into a third year. Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin called the raid a “huge tragedy.”

The Kremlin said Putin was informed minutes after the assailants burst into Crocus City Hall, a large music venue on Moscow’s western edge that can accommodate 6,200 people.

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The attack took place as crowds gathered for a performance by the Russian rock band Picnic. The Investigative Committee, the top state criminal investigation agency, reported early Saturday that more than 60 people were killed. Health authorities released a list of 145 injured — 115 of them hospitalised, including five children.

Videos posted by Russian media and on messaging app channels showed men toting assault rifles shooting screaming people at point-blank range. One video showed a man in the auditorium saying the assailants had set it on fire, as gunshots rang out incessantly.

Guards at the concert hall didn’t have guns, and some could have been killed at the start of the attack, Russian media reported. Some Russian news outlets suggested the assailants fled before special forces and riot police arrived. Reports said police patrols were looking for several vehicles the attackers could have used to escape.

This grab taken from a UGC video shows a shooting in a concert hall in Krasnogorsk, western edge of Moscow region.

With inputs from AP