Rescuers work inside the burned Crocus City Hall concert venue following a terrorist attack in Krasnogorsk, outside Moscow, on March 23, 2024.© Russian Investigative Committee Handout via EPA via Shutterstock

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The head of Russia’s FSB reportedly informed Russian President Vladimir Putin that all four gunmen from the Moscow terror attack at Crocus City Hall were arrested near Russia’s western border with Ukraine, Russian news agencies reported.

Seven others have also been detained and the search for the other accomplices is ongoing, the news outlets reported.

Earlier, Russian media posted unverified photos of a car they said belonged to some of the attackers near Russia’s western border and a Russian MP said at least two suspects were detained after a car chase and a shootout, though neither of these have been verified or confirmed by Russian authorities.

The death toll as a result of the terrorist attack has increased to 133 on Saturday, the Investigative Committee said, adding that the search for bodies under the rubble continues. Authorities earlier said the toll could rise significantly. The local governor said 121 people remain hospitalized.

Of those, 80 still remain in hospitals and 13 are in an extremely serious condition while 25 remain in a serious condition.

Preliminary data show the causes of death were gunshot wounds and poisoning by smoke products, the statement said from the Investigative Committee said.

“The terrorists used automatic weapons during the attack, which, along with the ammunition they left behind, were discovered and seized by the investigators,” it added.

The terrorists also used flammable liquid to set fire to the premises of the concert hall, where there were spectators, including the wounded”, the statement said.

Putin spoke out publicly for the first time about the Moscow concert hall terror attack, promising to exact “retribution” on anyone involved in it.

Putin did not acknowledge the ISIS claim for the attack, saying Russia was still investigating. But he sought to suggest that Ukraine could bear some responsibility, saying the suspected attackers had been detained while trying to cross the border to Ukraine and claiming they may have received some help from there.

“According to the preliminary data, they had a crossing of the border prepared from the Ukrainian side,” Putin said.

A view of the Crocus City Hall burned after an attack is seen on the western edge of Moscow, on March 23, 2024.

A view of the Crocus City Hall burned after an attack is seen on the western edge of Moscow, on March 23, 2024.© Vitaly Smolnikov/AP

Ukrainian officials last night vehemently denied any involvement and warned the Kremlin will try to exploit the attack by falsely blaming Ukraine to drum up greater support for its war.

People place flowers at a makeshift memorial to the victims of a shooting attack at the Crocus City Hall concert venue outside Moscow, in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, on March 23, 2024. The banner reads: " Crocus City, Rostov-on-Don mourns with you."

People place flowers at a makeshift memorial to the victims of a shooting attack at the Crocus City Hall concert venue outside Moscow, in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, on March 23, 2024. The banner reads: ” Crocus City, Rostov-on-Don mourns with you.”© Sergey Pivovarov/Reuters

Putin’s comments followed several by some leading Kremlin figures directly accusing Ukraine and western countries of being behind the attack, despite the ISIS claim.

The U.S. said it shared intelligence with Russia warning that ISIS was preparing similar attacks on concerts in Moscow just two weeks ago.

The U.S. Embassy in Moscow issued a warning on March 7, advising U.S. citizens to avoid large gatherings for 48 hours, saying extremists have “imminent plans” to target large-scale gatherings in Moscow.

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