Russia Cancels Paraguay Friendly As ISIS Claims Responsibility For Friday Bomb Attack 

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ISIS has claimed responsibility for Friday’s shooting rampage near the Russian Federation capital city which led to the death of at least 115 people and injuries to about 100 others.  The claim is coming on the heels of the cancellation of international football friendlies between Russia and Paraguay.

Assailants burst into a large concert hall in Moscow on Friday spraying the crowd with gunfire and setting fire to the venue in a brazen attack just days after President Vladimir Putin cemented his grip on power in a highly orchestrated electoral landslide.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement posted on affiliated channels on social media.

A United States intelligence official told The Associated Press that U.S. intelligence agencies had learned the group’s branch in Afghanistan was planning an attack in Moscow and shared the information with Russian officials.

It wasn’t immediately clear what happened to the attackers after the raid, which state investigators were investigating as terrorism.

The attack, which left the concert hall in flames with a collapsing roof, was the deadliest in Russia in years and came as the country’s war in Ukraine dragged into a third year. Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin called the raid a “huge tragedy.”

The Kremlin said Putin was informed minutes after the assailants burst into Crocus City Hall, a large music venue on Moscow’s western edge that can accommodate 6,200 people.

Meanwhile, Russia has called off her scheduled international football friendlies with Paraguay. Banned from FIFA and UEFA competitions in February 2022 following the country’s invasion of Ukraine, Russia can only play friendly games she defeated Serbia 4-0 on Thursday at Moscow’s VTB Arena, and were due to play Paraguay at the same venue on Monday.

In connection with the terrorist attack that occurred in Krasnogorsk, the Russian Football Union and the Paraguayan Football Association decided to cancel a friendly match between the national teams of Russia and Paraguay,” the RFU said in a statement.

All entertainment and mass events in Russia had been cancelled on Friday by the Russian Culture Ministry and the RFU announced on Saturday that they have postponed all matches in their competitions scheduled for this weekend.

Additional report courtesy of Associated Press

 

Eighteen-Eleven Media 

 

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