Terrorists who killed over 80 at Moscow Crocus City Hall allegedly identified

Moscow Crocus City Hall terrorist attack: Death toll climbs to over 80

Investigators, criminologists and experts, together with operational units of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the FSB, continue investigative actions in Crocus City Hall on March 23 following the terrorist attack that took place the day before.

The Investigative Committee of Russia published a video from the scene of the terrorist attack, showing the bodies of the killed, ammunition and weapons with which the terrorists attacked visitors to the concert hall.

Click here to see pictures after the fire inside the building

A group of terrorists (how many of them exactly remains unknown) broke into the Crocus City Hall concert hall on Friday, March 22, at around 20:00 shortly before Picnic rock band was supposed to begin their concert.

The Investigative Committee said that more than 70 people were killed. According o other sources, the death toll has climbed to over 82. There are three children among the killed. Previously, the FSB reported 40 dead and more than 100 injured.

Death toll is expected to rise as specialists continue to examine the building and look for victims. Many bodies were found in bathrooms and staff rooms where people had hidden from the gunfire; many suffocated, there were no wounds found on their bodies.

Eyewitnesses said that the attackers had backpacks with bottles of gasoline that they used to start the fire in the concert hall.

The world supports Russia, condemns the attack

Many countries of the world expressed their support and condolences to Russia. Most Western countries, including the UK, the USA, EU states, Latin American and Arab countries condemned the terrorist attack in Moscow. The US was one of the first counters to have condemned the attack. White House officials said that they did not see any connection between the attack and the Kyiv authorities.

Two suspects detained - nationals of Tajikistan

The car in which the terrorists escaped was stopped in the Bryansk region of Russia. There were four citizens of Tajikistan inside the vehicle: Nasridinov Makhmadrasul, Ismonov Rivozhidin, Safolzoda Shokhinjonn and Nazarov Rustam. Two of them were detained and others managed to escape and disappear in the forest.

Click here to see pictures of the alleged attackers

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Tajikistan called the information about the involvement of citizens of Tajikistan in the terrorist attack in the Moscow region fake. The Foreign Ministry of Tajikistan stated that Russian authorities did not contact Dushanbe regarding the involvement of citizens of the republic in the attack.

Muscovites line up to donate blood

The Moscow Region Ministry of Health published the list of 145 victims at night. The Federal Ministry of Health clarified that 115 people, including five children, are now in hospitals. Sixty adult patients and one child are in serious condition. Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova assured that hospitals have enough medications and blood to help the wounded. The Ministry of Emergency Situations published on its website a list of 99 victims of the terrorist attack.

The roof over the Crocus City Hall auditorium collapsed, Andrei Vorobyov, Governor of the Moscow Region said. According to him, the fire was extinguished, but "isolated fires” still remain. Rescuers were able to enter the auditorium, he said.

The heads of the FSB, the Investigative Committee, the Russian Guard, the Ministry of Emergency Situations, and the Ministry of Health informed Vladimir Putin about the terrorist attack.

Putin wished recovery to all the victims, said Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova.

ISIS claims responsibility for Crocus City Hall terror

ISIS (banned in Russia) claimed responsibility for the terrorist attack, Reuters, France 24, as well as Al Arabiya agencies said, citing a message from the terrorist organisation on Telegram. Unnamed US officials confirmed the statement that ISIS revealed, The New York Times said.

Chronology of the attack

According to law enforcement agencies, at least five people in camouflage burst into the hall and opened fire at people from automatic weapons.

Dozens of shots were heard. At least two explosions occurred. The last of them sounded at around 21:30 Moscow time, Interfax reported.

A fire started. The building of the entertainment complex, located next to the Moscow Ring Road in the suburban town of Krasnogorsk, was engulfed in fire. The Ministry of Emergency Situations estimated the fire area at almost 13,000 square meters.

At about 22:00 Moscow time, the roof of the building collapsed. The fire was localized only around 1:00 Moscow time. As many as 477 people and 183 pieces of special equipment were involved in extinguishing the fire.

The attackers opened fire not only in the concert hall, but also in the foyer of the concert complex, as well as and in front of the entrance. Two of the attackers had backpacks that may have contained explosive devices.

RIA Novosti and Kommersant reported that the participants in the attack allegedly escaped from the crime scene in a white Renault Symbol vehicle.

A significant part of the people managed to leave the hall and evacuate themselves to safety. As reported by the Moscow Region Ministry of Emergency Situations, dozens of people were evacuated from the basement of the building, as well as from the roof.

To escape from the terrorists and get out of the building, people were breaking windows.

Aviation was involved in extinguishing the fire. Several helicopters with an overhead water intake system were collecting water in the Stroginskaya floodplain on the other side of the Moscow Ring Road and then dumping it onto the roof of the building.

Eyewitnesses share their stories

"The shooting started just before the concert, the house was packed, I was in the hall too and then I heard gun shots, many people started escaping through the service entrance, a stampede began. When I was out on the street I heard machine gun fire again,” an eyewitness Svetlana said in an interview with RBC.

"We were about 15 minutes to [eight] in the hall on the first floor, just opposite the entrance where it all started. We heard shots. At first there was shock. There was confusion for one and a half to two minutes; no one understood what was happening. Then we rushed to the exit towards the metro. In the place where we ran, the escalator was going down, there was a stampede, people were falling down. We ran to the right, and people were knocking out windows and doors to get out of the building. We didn't see the shooters, because the crowd was running away from where they were. We ran out of there. The shooting was very close behind us, but we did not see the attackers, nor did we see the wounded,” another eyewitness named only as Alexander told RBC.

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Author`s name Pavel Morozov
Editor Dmitry Sudakov