Sat. Jul 20th, 2024

The White House has condemned a major terrorist attack outside Moscow which unfolded on Friday evening, as masked gunmen breached a concert hall northwest of the Russian capital, leaving scores dead and injured.

Unofficial reports indicate that at least a dozen people have been killed in the attack at the Crocus City Hall, with around 130 wounded, after the gunmen opened fire at the venue and detonated explosives which set the building ablaze.

Speaking to reporters at a briefing in Washington, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said the White House sent condolences to the victims of the “terrible” attack, adding that they were trying to gather more information on the incident.

“Our thoughts are with the victims of this terrible shooting attack,” Kirby said. “The images are just horrible and just hard to watch.”

Kirby quickly dismissed any speculation about a potential “connection to Ukraine,” saying there is “no indication” that Ukrainians were involved.

He also addressed questions about a March 7 security alert issued by the US Embassy in Russia, which had warned that “extremists” had plans for an imminent attack in Moscow.

“I don’t think that was related to this specific attack,” Kirby said.

According to TASS news agency, up to a third of the Crocus City Hall complex has been engulfed in flames, with unconfirmed reports and videos indicating that helicopters have been dispatched to extinguish the fire. The agency also said that special forces soldiers from the Russian Guard have arrived at the location.