Russia mourns victims of Moscow concert hall attack as death toll climbs


Russia observed a national day of mourning on Sunday as the death toll from the attack at the Moscow concert hall surpassed 130, and many residents still awaited news about their missing loved ones.

On Sunday, events at cultural institutions were canceled, flags were flown at half-staff, and entertainment and advertising on television were suspended, the Associated Press reported, citing Russian state news.

Many gathered at the concert hall, bringing flowers and teddy bears to mourn the victims and creating a makeshift memorial, the AP reported.

The day of mourning comes two days after Moscow experienced its deadliest act of terrorism in more than a decade, which saw multiple gunmen fire into a crowded concert hall in Moscow, killing at least 137 people, according to the latest death count.

Russia’s Federal Security Service said three gunmen wearing camouflage using automatic weapons can be seen in video footage from the concert hall.

The Islamic State claimed responsibility for Friday’s attack, and U.S. agencies have confirmed the Islamic State was responsible for the attack, the AP reported, citing a U.S. intelligence official on Saturday.

Russian authorities said they have detained 11 people connected to the incident, including four directly involved. Russian President Vladimir Putin has tried to blame Ukraine for the attack, which U.S. and Ukrainian officials firmly deny.

On Sunday, rescuers were continuing to search for bodies, as some families didn’t know whether their families were still alive.

Moscow’s Department of Health said Sunday it has started identifying the bodies of those killed via DNA testing, a process which will need at least two weeks, the AP reported.

As of Sunday, 50 victims were already identified by authorities. There were also 154 people reported injured.

The Associated Press contributed.

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