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SOURCE: ANI

As the nation mourned the dead and struggled to come to terms with the terror attack at Crocus City Hall near Moscow, the Russian embassy in India, on Sunday, opened an online book of condolence for people who wish to offer condolences to the families of the victims.

The toll from the heinous attack at the Crocus City Hall music venue near Moscow, which the ISIS claimed credit for, stood at 133 on Sunday, state news agency TASS reported, citing the Russian Investigative Committee.

The online book would enable people to post healing messages or express support and sympathy for the kin of the dead in the comment section. They could even do so by writing to the embassy.

“The Embassy has opened an online book of condolences for those who wish to express sympathy to the families of victims of the Crocus City Hall terrorist attack on March 22, 2024. You can write below in the comment section or send a letter to rusembindia@mid.ru,” read a post on the official X handle of the Russian Embassy in India.

“As the rubble was being removed in the concert hall of the Crocus City Hall, the number of people killed in the terrorist attack has risen to 133. The search operation is underway,” read a statement from the Russian Investigative Committee.

“Russian President Vladimir Putin declared March 24 a day of national mourning after the terrorist attack in Crocus City Hall, TASS reported earlier.

In a televised address to the people of Russia, he said, “I declare March 24 a day of national mourning.”

He vowed to punish terrorists for the attack on the Crocus City Hall music venue in the city of Krasnogorsk, near Moscow, on Friday evening (local time).

“Our people, our children, just like the Nazis that once killed our people during the war. They do the same. All the orchestrators, all those who are responsible for this crime will inevitably be found responsible, they will pay. We will identify everyone who stands behind these terrorists and they will pay. This is a strike against Russia,” Putin said.

He said Russia would investigate the terrorist attack, adding that all four perpetrators, who were directly involved in the attack, were apprehended. He asserted that the investigative authorities would make every effort to collect all facts and details surrounding the attack.

Meanwhile, the Russian intelligence agencies detained 11 people, including four ‘terrorists’, who they claimed were ‘directly’ involved in a terrorist attack on the Crocus City Hall, TASS reported citing Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) statement on Saturday.

“The activities of intelligence and law enforcement agencies have resulted in the detention of 11 people, including four terrorists, who directly participated in the terrorist attack on the Crocus City Hall,” the statement read.

The tragic events unfolded on Friday evening at Crocus City Hall in Krasnogorsk, on the western outskirts of the Russian capital. The concert venue, with an estimated capacity of 7,500, was almost full when the terrorists struck. The assault took place ahead of a performance by the Russian rock band Picnic, RT news agency reported.

According to the mobile phone footage and eyewitness accounts, at least five gunmen wearing military-style gear and carrying assault rifles first opened fire at unarmed security guards at the main entrance to the venue. They then proceeded to shoot indiscriminately at the fleeing crowd of panicked visitors.

Once the terrorists reached the concert hall, they appeared to set fire to rows of chairs inside, with the blaze quickly engulfing much of the building, including its roof.

Investigators have stated that preliminary findings based on evidence at the scene appear to confirm that the terrorists used automatic weapons during the attack, and used some sort of flammable liquid to set fire to the premises.

Investigators have stated that preliminary findings based on evidence at the scene appear to confirm that the terrorists used automatic weapons during the attack, and used some sort of flammable liquid to set fire to the premises. The Investigative Committee said it is now carrying out ballistic, genetic, and fingerprint analysis based on the material evidence found at the scene.

The ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack at the concert venue complex near Moscow on Friday night after assailants stormed the venue with guns and incendiary devices, CNN reported.

Meanwhile, the head of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) Aleksandr Bortnikov has informed President Vladimir Putin that eleven suspects, including four terrorists who were directly involved in the Crocus attack, have been detained, the Kremlin press service has said.