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Kremlin refuses to comment on IS links to Moscow attack

Published : Tuesday, 26 March, 2024 at 12:00 AM  Count : 260

MOSCOW, Ma 25: The Kremlin refused to comment Monday on the Islamic State groups claims that it was behind the deadliest attack in Russia in two decades, as rescuers searched for bodies amid the rubble of the burnt-out Moscow concert hall.
At least 137 people were killed when gunmen in camouflage stormed Crocus City Hall, shooting spectators before setting the building on fire in the most fatal attack in Europe to have been claimed by Islamic State jihadists.
The group has said several times since Friday that it carried out the attack, and IS-affiliated media channels have published videos of the gunmen inside the venue shooting concert-goers.
But in his only public remarks on the massacre, Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday pointed to a possible Ukraine connection, and no senior Russian official has commented on the IS claims.
"The investigation is still ongoing. No coherent version has yet been voiced," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Monday when asked why Russia had not addressed ISs claimed involvement.
"We are talking only about preliminary data. No version has been put forward yet," he added.
Officials expect the death toll to rise further, as rescuers were searching the site for remains on Monday and 97 are still in hospital.
- Dealing with threats -
Putin has no plans to visit the site of the attack, on the northwestern edge of Moscow, Peskov said.
He will hold a meeting with Russias security chiefs, government officials and the heads of Moscow and the Moscow region later Monday.
The Kremlin also on Monday expressed confidence in the countrys powerful security agencies, as questions swirl over how they failed to thwart the massacre despite public and private warnings by the United States intelligence apparatus.    —AFP






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