Russia Arrests Over 20 in Connection with Deadly Moscow Concert Hall Attack, Blames Ukraine

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Russia Arrests Over 20 in Connection with Deadly Concert Hall Attack

Russia has arrested more than 20 people in connection with the March attack on a concert hall near Moscow that killed over 140 people, according to the head of the FSB security service. The attack was claimed by the Islamic State group.

Alexander Bortnikov, head of the FSB, reiterated Russia's claim that Ukraine was behind the attack, though no evidence has been provided to support this assertion. Ukraine has vehemently denied any involvement, calling the accusation "absurd."

"The investigation is ongoing, but it is already safe to say that Ukrainian military intelligence is directly involved in this attack," Bortnikov was quoted as saying by state news agency TASS.

Four attackers opened fire on concertgoers at the Crocus City Hall near Moscow on March 22nd before setting the venue ablaze. The attack was the deadliest in Russia in 20 years.

While blaming Ukraine, Bortnikov also stated that the preparation, financing, execution, and attempted escape of the attackers were coordinated online by the Islamic State Khorasan Province, the Afghan branch of the militant group.

"Russian propaganda did not forget about the Crocus story. It will continue trying to promote the absurd point about Ukraine's alleged complicity even though it can't stand up to any criticism and it's completely illogical."

The suspects detained by Russia include the four alleged gunmen, all citizens of Tajikistan, whose detention was extended last week until August 22nd. No trial date has been set.

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May 21, 2023 | 05:09