Moscow attack: The toll rises


The death toll from the attack on a concert hall near Moscow on Friday rose to 133, Russia's Investigative Committee announced on Saturday.

“The death toll from the attack in the Crocus City Hall concert hall rose to 133 dead (…) during the clearance of the rubble. Search operations continue,” said the main body responsible for investigations in Russia, quoted by Russian media.

A previous report from the committee reported 115 deaths after armed men stormed the Crocus City Hall concert hall in Krasnogorsk, a town located about twenty kilometers northwest of the capital.

In a televised address on Saturday, the first since the tragedy, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared March 24 a day of national mourning.

“I express my deep and sincere condolences to everyone who has lost a loved one. The entire country, all our people, mourn with you. I declare March 24 a day of national mourning,” said Mr. Putin, denouncing “a bloody and barbaric terrorist act” having caused dozens of peaceful and innocent victims including children, adolescents and women.

He further noted that “the four direct perpetrators of the terrorist attack, all those who opened fire and killed people, were found and detained”, specifying that a total of 11 people were arrested.

For its part, the Russian Interior Ministry denied reports that the four people arrested were Russian citizens, without further details on the nationality of the attackers.

“A number of Telegram channels and social networks today broadcast allegations that the four suspects in the March 22 terrorist attack (…) are Russian citizens. This information does not correspond to reality. They are all foreign citizens,” ministry spokesperson Irina Volk said via Telegram.

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