Moscow attack: 133 dead as Putin tries to link shooting to Ukraine

Children were among the victims after gunmen opened fire in a crowded concert hall in Moscow, as ITV News Correspondent Neil Connery reports

At least 133 people have been killed and over 100 wounded in a mass shooting at a concert hall in Russia's capital, which saw several gunmen storm and set fire to the venue.

The so-called Islamic State group, in a statement shared by its Amaq news agency, said it attacked a large gathering of "Christians" at the Crocus City Hall, in Krasnogorsk, on Moscow's outskirts.

A US intelligence official said their colleagues had confirmed the claim by the terrorist organisation's Afghanistan-based branch.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a statement on Saturday, insisted all of the gunmen behind the "barbaric terrorist act" had been found and detained.

Is the attack likely to have an impact on Vladimir Putin's reputation within Russia?

He said a total of 11 people were stopped trying to cross the border into Ukraine while escaping - a claim which Kyiv has strongly denied.

Sunday has been declared as a day of national mourning by the Russian president, who also said that additional security measures have been imposed throughout the country.

Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, said: "Ukraine has never resorted to the use of terrorist methods. Everything in this war will be decided only on the battlefield."

According to a translation by the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors terror group propaganda, Islamic State described Friday's attack as the "fiercest in years".

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Amaq, providing details of the attack, said three fighters attacked the crowd with guns and knives, while a fourth threw incendiary devices.

The agency said the attack was preceded by an intensive surveillance operation of the venue, adding: "The attack comes within the normal context of the raging war between the Islamic State and countries fighting Islam."

The US warned Russia "several weeks ago" of intelligence which indicated that Islamic State was planning to carry out attacks in Russia, officials told ITV News.

UK and US residents were told not to travel to Russia two weeks ago, following a warning that "extremists" were planning a terror attack against Moscow.

The roof of the theatre collapsed in the early hours of Saturday morning. Credit: AP

Some Western intelligence agencies have expressed concern about how Islamic State has sought to exploit Russia's war in Ukraine to recruit new members and raise money.

The UK was among the countries to condemn the attack, with British Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron saying: "The UK condemns in the strongest terms the deadly terrorist attack at the Crocus City Hall near Moscow.

"We offer our heartfelt condolences and express our deepest sympathy to the families of the many victims. Nothing can ever justify such horrific violence."

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter: "I strongly condemn the terrorist attack against civilians in the Crocus City Hall in Moscow claimed by the Islamic State. My thoughts are with the victims and their families during this tragic time."

A woman places flowers by a fence next to the Crocus City Hall. Credit: AP

Videos from the scene on Friday night showed people running from the Crocus City Hall as gunmen shot civilians at point blank range.

The Kremlin said Putin was informed about the raid minutes after the assailants burst into the Crocus City Hall, a large music venue on Moscow's western edge that can accommodate up to 6,200 people.

The attack took place as crowds gathered for a concert of Picnic, a famous Russian rock band.

Russian news reports cited authorities and eyewitnesses as saying the attackers threw explosive devices that started the fire and, which eventually, caused the building's roof to collapse.

Islamic State operates across parts of Asia and Africa - including Syria and Afghanistan - and has claimed several attacks in Russia's volatile Caucasus and other regions, in recent years.

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