Death toll in Moscow theater attack rises to 133 people

MOSCOW – The death toll in the attack on a theater in Moscow has risen to 133 people, the main state investigation agency reported.

The Investigative Committee released the updated figure, as authorities continue to sift through the smoldering rubble of the Crocus municipal theater on the western edge of Moscow in search of more victims. Previously, authorities had said there were 115 dead.

The attack left numerous people injured.

Vladimir Putin said Saturday that new security measures have been taken across the country and hinted that Ukraine may be linked to the attack.

The Islamic State group's affiliate in Afghanistan claimed responsibility for Friday's attack in a statement on its affiliated social media channels. A US intelligence official said US agencies had confirmed that ISIS was responsible for the attack.

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Putin said the four people directly involved in the attack had been detained and suggested they were trying to flee across the border into Ukraine. He did not back up his claim with evidence.

Putin ordered a national day of mourning for Sunday. The attack was the deadliest in Russia for years and the theater was reduced to a smoking ruin.

Previously, state media reported that authorities arrested 11 people.

The Russian Investigative Committee noted that four of the detainees were directly involved in the incident that caused a fire in the shopping center and caused the roof of its concert hall to collapse.

The four suspects were detained in the Bryansk region, western Russia, “not far from the border with Ukraine,” the Investigative Committee said. They planned to cross the border into the neighboring country, where “they had contacts,” the state news agency Tass reported, citing the Federal Security Service (FSB). The director of the department informed the country's president, Vladimir Putin, of the arrests on Saturday, according to Tass.

Embed – 32K views · 110 comments | Noticias Venezuela on Instagram: “Alleged terrorist from the attack in Moscow claims that the attack was planned a month before and that an anonymous person paid him $5,500 for the shooter whom he ordered to kill civilians – Russian media publishes an interrogation: RT”

The incident came just days after Putin consolidated his continued control of the country. It was the deadliest attack recorded in Russia in years and occurred as the country's war in Ukraine entered its third year.

Shortly after the assault, some Russian lawmakers took aim at Ukraine. Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, denied any involvement from kyiv.

“Ukraine has never resorted to the use of terrorist methods,†he said on X, formerly Twitter. “Everything in this war will be decided only on the battlefield.”

Images shared by Russian state media on Saturday showed a fleet of emergency vehicles still outside the ruins of Crocus City Hall, a shopping center and concert hall with capacity for more than 6,000 people. located in Krasnogorsk, on the western edge of the capital, Moscow.

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Videos posted online showed armed men inside the compound shooting civilians at point-blank range. The roof of the theater, where a crowd was waiting to attend a Friday concert by local rock band Picnic, collapsed early Saturday after firefighters spent hours battling a fire that started during the assault.

In a statement published by its Aamaq news agency, the Islamic State affiliate in Afghanistan said it attacked a large gathering of “Christians” in Krasnogorsk. The authenticity of the statement could not be verified at this time.

A U.S. intelligence official said that in recent weeks, U.S. intelligence agencies had collected information suggesting the IS affiliate was planning an attack in Moscow and that earlier this month, U.S. officials privately shared the information. with Russian officials.

The official was briefed on the matter, but did not have authorization to reveal intelligence information publicly and did so on the condition of anonymity.