The death toll in Moscow rose to 115: Putin sent a harsh message to "terrorists"

"We will punish anyone who stands behind the terrorists who planned that attack on Russia and our people," Putin said, as reported by the Russian Ria Agency

by Sededin Dedovic
The death toll in Moscow rose to 115: Putin sent a harsh message to "terrorists"
© The Telegraph / Youtube channel

The horrific terrorist attack on the Crocus City Hall concert hall in Moscow killed at least 115 people, including three children, according to the latest information from the Russian Investigative Committee, the British Guardian reported.

We remind you that yesterday we informed that there were around 40 dead, but that probably due to the scale of the disaster, the number of dead will increase to over 100. The attack took place in the evening yesterday local time, when visitors gathered for the performance of the popular Russian rock band Panik.

Witnesses reported that gunmen dressed in camouflage uniforms stormed the scene, opening fire indiscriminately on the crowd. Panic broke out as people scrambled for cover and some were caught in the hail of bullets. The attackers reportedly used automatic weapons and flammable liquids to set fire to the concert hall.

The upper floors of the building were almost completely destroyed by fire, sending thick clouds of smoke rising into the night sky. We watched the terrible pictures from the capital of Russia, and many recordings were live that they published yesterday when this unfortunate event happened.

Terrorist Attack in Moscow© The Times and The Sunday Times / YOutube channel

The attackers reportedly fled the scene in a vehicle. Although details remain unclear, the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group claimed responsibility for the attack via a message on Telegram, a messaging platform known for being used by extremist groups.

Russian authorities reacted quickly to the incident. The Federal Security Service (FSB) announced the arrest of 11 people, including four suspected attackers directly involved in the attack. Emergency services arrived at the scene, fighting the flames and treating the injured.

The growing number of victims and the international response

The death toll continues to rise as medical officials grapple with the aftermath. At least 145 people were injured and 115 were hospitalized, including five children.

A US intelligence official has revealed that US agencies discovered plans to attack Moscow by an IS affiliate in Afghanistan and shared the information with their Russian counterparts. Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin called the attack a "monstrous tragedy." The Kremlin confirmed that President Vladimir Putin was informed within minutes of the attack.

The attack, the deadliest terrorist incident in Russia in years, comes as the war in Ukraine continues to rage. Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke for the first time about the terrorist attack on the Krokus shopping center in Moscow.

Putin called the attack that took place last night "bloody and barbaric", and said that the terrorists were heading towards Ukraine, where a "passage" had been prepared for them, reports the Russian RIA Agency.

"Like the Nazis once, they thought of carrying out a demonstrative execution.

All executors, organizers and orderers will bear the penalty, whoever they are. "We will punish anyone who stands behind the terrorists who planned that attack on Russia and our people," Putin said. "Now the most important thing is to prevent those behind the terrorist attack from committing new crimes," he pointed out.

He thanked the emergency teams, firefighters and rescuers who did everything to save people's lives and expressed his condolences to those who lost relatives and friends. The Russian president emphasized that the necessary help will be provided to everyone, and he declared Sunday, March 24, a day of mourning.

"The Russian Federation will identify and punish all those who prepared a terrorist attack. Only retribution and oblivion await the terrorists. They have no future. The common duty of the Russians now is to be together, and so it will be.

"No one can shake the unity of Russian citizens," he said.

Unanswered questions

Many questions remain unanswered. While some Russian media have speculated that additional victims may have been trapped in the inferno, authorities have not confirmed this.

The fate of the assailant after his escape is also unknown. Security issues and witness accounts The lack of security staff at the concert hall has raised concerns about potential vulnerabilities. Graphic videos released by Russian media show masked men holding assault rifles firing at terrified concertgoers.

One witness said he saw the attackers set fire to the scene amid the gunfire. The authenticity of IS claims is still under investigation. A statement by the terrorist group, published through its Amaq news agency, said the attackers targeted a gathering of Christians in Krasnogorsk, a suburb of Moscow, with hundreds of casualties reported.

The attack on Crocus City Hall left Moscow and the world shaken. The investigation continues as authorities work to piece together the events of the night, identify the remaining perpetrators and determine the true motive behind this horrific act of violence. The physical and emotional scars left by this tragedy will undoubtedly take a long time to heal.