Massacre at Moscow Concert: 40 Dead, Terrorism Probe Launched

A devastating incident unfolded during a rock concert in a Moscow suburb on Friday, as gunmen unleashed gunfire, resulting in the deaths of at least 40 individuals and leaving around 100 wounded. The concert hall, Crocus City, located in the Krasnogorsk suburb, was engulfed in flames following the attack.

According to reports from the scene by a journalist from RIA Novosti, the attackers, dressed in camouflage attire, stormed the building and initiated gunfire, possibly hurling a grenade or incendiary device. The fire rapidly spread throughout the venue, which can accommodate several thousand people and has previously hosted renowned international artists.

Authorities, including the FSB security service, confirmed the tragic toll, stating that a terrorist investigation had been initiated. President Vladimir Putin was kept informed of developments continuously, according to his spokesperson Dmitry Peskov.

Telegram news channels shared distressing visuals of the hall ablaze, with thick smoke billowing from the structure. Additional footage depicted individuals fleeing the scene or seeking refuge within the venue.

Sergei Sobyanin, Moscow’s mayor, termed the incident a “terrible tragedy,” leading to the cancellation of all public events in the city for the weekend. Security sources, as reported by Interfax, described the assailants as wearing tactical gear and wielding automatic weapons, initially targeting guards at the entrance before turning their weapons on the audience.

Eyewitnesses described harrowing scenes of attendees seeking cover on the ground to evade the gunfire. The ordeal lasted for approximately 15 to 20 minutes before people could safely evacuate the premises.

Emergency services reported that approximately 100 individuals managed to escape through the theatre’s basement, while others sought refuge on the roof. However, a significant portion of the complex was engulfed in flames.

The Russian Foreign Ministry condemned the attack as a “bloody terrorist act,” urging global condemnation. Meanwhile, the US government expressed condolences and emphasized that there were no immediate indications linking the incident to the conflict in Ukraine.

Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev called for swift and severe action against any potential perpetrators linked to Ukraine. As security operations intensified around the theatre and adjacent areas, authorities assured the safe evacuation of all members of the performing rock band.

Patriarch Kirill, a prominent figure in the Orthodox Church, offered prayers for the deceased, while acknowledging the grim reality of the tragedy.

This tragic incident brings to mind past instances of violence in Moscow, both with and without apparent political motives. While extremist threats had been previously warned about, the exact motives behind this attack remain under investigation, amidst a backdrop of ongoing tensions in the region.

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