Gunmen attack concert hall near Moscow, casualties reported

MOSCOW — Gunmen wearing camouflage opened fire with automatic weapons at a crowd in the Crocus City Hall music venue near Moscow, resulting in an unknown number of deaths and injuries, according to video footage from the scene.

The exact number of casualties was not immediately clear, and the identities of the gunmen remain unknown. Russian news agencies report that 50 ambulance crews were dispatched to the scene.

Videos showed flames and black smoke rising from the venue. “A terrible tragedy occurred in the Crocus City shopping center today,” said Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin. He expressed condolences to the victims’ families and assured that all necessary assistance would be provided to those injured.

Police and emergency services have responded, and some individuals were reported to still be inside the concert hall at the time.

Social media posts, including one unverified video, depicted men with automatic weapons firing at civilians, including women seeking cover near an entrance sign to “Crocus City Hall.” Other footage showed several people lying motionless in pools of blood outside the hall. Reuters could not immediately verify the authenticity of the videos.

The U.S. embassy in Russia had issued a warning earlier this month about the potential for an attack in Moscow by “extremists.” This followed a statement from Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) claiming to have thwarted an attack on a Moscow synagogue planned by a cell of the Islamic State group.