Islamic State Claims Deadly Assault on Russian Music Venue: 40 Dead

Tragedy struck Moscow on Friday night when gunmen opened fire at the popular Crocus City Hall concert venue, killing at least 40 people and wounding over 145 more in what Russian officials are calling a terrorist attack. The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the deadly assault.

From The Guardian:

Islamic State have claimed responsibility for the attack on the Crocus City Hall on the outskirts of Moscow.

The full statement posted on its Telegram account reads: "Islamic State fighters attacked a large gathering of Christians in the city of Krasnogorsk on the outskirts of the Russian capital, Moscow, killing and wounding hundreds and causing great destruction to the place before they withdrew to their bases safely."

According to The New York Times, "Several camouflage-clad gunmen opened fire at a popular concert venue on the outskirts of Moscow on Friday night, killing at least 40 people and wounding more than 100." Concertgoers described scenes of chaos and panic as gunfire erupted and a fire broke out, with The Guardian reporting that the roof of the building later collapsing.

Videos posted to social media show the gunmen firing rifles as people flee, while photos depict bodies lined up outside. Russia's Investigative Committee has launched a criminal case into the attack as a massive manhunt gets underway for the perpetrators, who appear to have escaped.

The New York Times notes that the U.S. had warned of a possible extremist attack on a Moscow concert venue earlier in March. The Guardian adds that "coming amidst the war, the assault is one of Russia's deadliest in decades."