Russia reels from weekend terror attack

by ian


Russia suffered a devastating terror attack over the weekend, the most deadly within the nation in years.

The attack at the Crocus City Hall in Moscow, which was hosting a concert, killed at least 137 attendees while injuring at least 182 others. According to reports from the scene, four armed men arrived at the concert hall firing their weapons point-blank at civilians.

Russian investigators said the men kept firing at fleeing civilians while setting fire to the location. Those who were wounded suffered gunshots, burns, or lung damage from inhaling the smoke. Russia has reportedly detained 11 people suspected to have been involved in the attack, including the four men who directly carried it out.

But perhaps the most surprising aspect behind the attack lies with who was responsible for it. Islamic State Khorasan Province, better known as ISIS-K, claimed responsibility for the attack and released footage of it on Saturday.

Some Western governments, including the U.S. and France, have since confirmed this claim from ISIS-K.

The U.S. government went so far as to suggest that its intelligence group shared information with Russia earlier this month about a “planned attack in Moscow.” The U.S. issued an advisory to its Russian embassy and other Americans living in the nation based on these findings.

But Russia isn’t convinced of ISIS-K’s involvement. Russian President Vladimir Putin didn’t mention the terrorist group and instead threw blame on Ukraine during an address to the nation. He said the four suspects who carried out the attack allegedly had an escape planned into Ukraine. Ukraine, however, denies involvement.

Putin said:

They tried to hide and were moving in the direction of Ukraine. There, according to the preliminary information, they had a crossing of the border prepared from the Ukrainian side.

Putin then vowed to “identify and punish” anyone involved in the attack, something the Russian military may already be taking to heart.

Unverified videos released over the weekend showed the suspects being brutally interrogated. That was followed by the release of images of the four attackers displaying their bruised and battered faces. Russian citizens, meanwhile, used Sunday to mourn the dead by lowering flags to half mast and holding a vigil at the concert hall.

The investigation into the matter from both a local and international standpoint continues.