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Manhunt underway in Moscow Region to capture Crocus City Hall attack suspect

An accomplice of the terrorism suspects is reportedly hiding in the south of the Moscow region, Russian media have said

Police and security forces in the south of Moscow Region have been put on high alert over an alleged Crocus City Hall terrorist attack suspect, who has reportedly been hiding in the area. The man is said to have fled law enforcement officers and hid in the woods, Russian Telegram channels report.

The operation was confirmed by the mayor of the Moscow suburb of Chekhov, Mikhail Sobakin. The police officers and Russia’s domestic security service (FSB) operatives had been sent to the area, he said in a Telegram post, commenting on the media reports. The official also called on local residents to “remain calm” and said that he was personally monitoring the situation. “The Interior Ministry and the FSB… are working,” he said.

According to the mayor, the ‘Sirena’ operation plan was put into effect. This set of measures is used to stop riots, detain criminal gangs, and deal with particularly dangerous armed individuals, RBK news reported.

Russia’s ‘Baza’ and 112 Telegram channels reported, citing sources within the law enforcement agencies, that a certain suspected had managed to evade detention by the FSB operatives in the area. Identified only as Nikolay S, 48, the man is said to be potentially armed. The two Telegram channels also claimed that the suspect might be linked to the Crocus City Hall attack suspects. The Russian officials have not commented on those claims.

The attack that took place in late March involved four gunmen, who stormed the concert venue just outside of Moscow ahead of a rock band performance. They made their way to the main auditorium, shooting indiscriminately, and then set the building on fire. Over 140 people were killed.

The four shooters, as well as seven alleged accomplices, were arrested in the wake of the assault. ISIS-K, the Afghanistan-based offshoot of the international terrorist organization Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) has claimed responsibility for the massacre. 

Russian officials have said that the terrorist act was carried out by radical Islamists, but still maintained that the Ukrainian government could be behind the operation. Kiev has denied all allegations.

April 10, 2024 at 07:24PM

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