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Home News Putin vows retribution for Russian concert hall attack, as death toll hits 133

Putin vows retribution for Russian concert hall attack, as death toll hits 133

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Putin vows retribution for Russian concert hall attack, as death toll hits 133

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday vowed to punish those behind a “barbaric terrorist attack” on a Moscow concert hall that killed more than 130, saying Russia had arrested four gunmen who were trying to flee to Ukraine.

Kyiv has strongly denied any connection, and Putin made no reference to claims of responsibility by the Islamic State group (IS) in his first public remarks on the attack.

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At least 133 people were killed when camouflaged gunmen stormed the Crocus City Hall, in Moscow’s northern suburb of Krasnogorsk, and then set fire to the building on Friday evening.

The jihadist group has claimed the attack, writing Saturday on a Telegram channel that it was “carried out by four IS fighters armed with machine guns, a pistol, knives and firebombs,” as part of “the raging war” with “countries fighting Islam”.

It is the deadliest attack in Russia for almost two decades and the deadliest in Europe to have been claimed by IS.

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Russian officials expect the death toll to rise further, with more than 100 injured in hospital.

“Terrorists, murderers, non-humans … have only one unenviable fate: retribution and oblivion,” Putin said in a televised address to the nation on Saturday.

‘Barbaric’
Calling the attack a “barbaric, terrorist act”, he said “all four direct perpetrators … all those who shot and killed people, have been found and detained”.

“They tried to escape and were travelling towards Ukraine, where, according to preliminary data, a window was prepared for them on the Ukrainian side to cross the state border,” he added.

Putin also compared the attackers to “Nazis” and said the attack was an “atrocity, a strike against Russia and our people”.

He named Sunday a day of national mourning.

Russia arrested 11 people in connection with the attack on Saturday, the FSB security service said.

“All the perpetrators, organisers and those who ordered this crime will be justly and inevitably punished,” Putin said.

The FSB said earlier that the assailants had “contacts” in Ukraine, without providing further details.

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