ISIS claims responsibility for attack at Moscow-area concert venue that left at least 60 dead – Newstrends
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ISIS claims responsibility for attack at Moscow-area concert venue that left at least 60 dead

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ISIS claims responsibility for attack at Moscow-area concert venue that left at least 60 dead
CNN — ISIS has claimed responsibility for an attack at a popular concert hall complex near Moscow Friday after assailants stormed the venue with guns and incendiary devices, killing at least 60 people and injuring 145.

The terror group took responsibility for the attack in a short statement published by ISIS-affiliated news agency Amaq on Telegram on Friday. It did not provide evidence to support the claim.

Video footage from the Crocus City Hall shows the vast complex, which is home to both the music hall and a shopping center, on fire with smoke billowing into the air. State-run RIA Novosti reported the armed individuals “opened fire with automatic weapons” and “threw a grenade or an incendiary bomb, which started a fire.” They then “allegedly fled in a white Renault car,” the news agency said.

The fire had been brought largely under control more than six hours later. “There are still some pockets of fire, but the fire has been mostly eliminated,” Moscow governor Andrey Vorobyov said on Telegram.

The deadliest terror attack on Moscow in decades, Friday’s assault came less than a week after President Vladimir Putin won a stage-managed election by an overwhelming majority to secure another term in office, tightening his grip on the country he has ruled since the turn of the century.

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With attention focused on the country’s war with neighboring Ukraine, Putin had trumpeted a message of national security before Russians went to the polls.

The carnage broke out before a concert by the band Picnic, according to Russia 24.

“Unidentified people in camouflage broke into Crocus City Hall and started shooting before the start of the concert,” the Prosecutor General’s Office said, cited by TASS.

Video footage showed panic as the attack unfolded, with crowds of people huddling together, screaming and ducking behind cushioned seats as gunshots started echoing in the vast hall. One group sheltering next to a large wall of windows outside the concert venue were forced to break them to escape the gunfire, video obtained by CNN shows.

Footage geolocated by CNN shows an armed individual starting at least one fire inside the venue. The individual is seen carrying something in their hand and, as they walk off-screen, a bright flash of light from a large flame is seen in the video.

A SWAT team was called to the area and more than 70 ambulance teams and doctors assisted victims.

One hundred and forty-five people have been hospitalized, TASS reported. Sixty people are in a “serious condition.”

According to the Kremlin, Putin was informed about the attack and is being kept updated on measures on the ground.

The president on Saturday wished those injured in the attack a speedy recovery, the state-run RIA-Novosti news agency said. He also “conveyed his gratitude to the doctors,” RIA added.

Around 100 people were evacuated from the building by firefighters, TASS reported.

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin called the attack a “terrible tragedy.”

“My condolences to the loved ones of the victims. I gave orders to provide all necessary assistance to everyone who suffered during the incident,” Sobyanin said in a statement.

Sobyanin said on Telegram that he was canceling all sports, cultural and other public events in Moscow this weekend.

Picnic’s manager told state media that the performers were unharmed.

Shaman, the band’s singer, said he would pay for the funerals of the victims and treatment for those injured.

“We are all one big family. And in a family there is no such thing as somebody else’s grief,” the singer, known for his nationalistic views, said in a video posted on the Russian social media network Vkontakte to his more than 600,000 followers.

“My people, any troubles and misfortunes have always united our country. They have made Russia tougher and stronger. It will not be possible to frighten and break us this time either.”

ISIS claims responsibility for attack at Moscow-area concert venue that left at least 60 dead

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Man who set himself on fire outside Trump’s Manhattan hush money trial dies

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Maxwell Azzarello holds a sign outside the Manhattan court on Thursday

Man who set himself on fire outside Trump’s Manhattan hush money trial dies

A man who set himself on fire outside the Manhattan court where former President Donald Trump’s hush-money trial is being held has died.

Maxwell Azzarello, 37, doused himself in a liquid before throwing conspiracy-theory pamphlets into the air.

It happened as the jury selection for Mr Trump’s trial was completed.

He was taken to hospital on Friday in critical condition, where he later died, CBS News – the BBC’s US partner – confirmed.

Mr Trump was in the building to attend jury selection, where he has had a security detail, but the former president left during the incident.

New York City police said early on Saturday that Mr Azzarello was declared dead by hospital staff, NBC reported.

Court security had not been breached in Friday’s incident, emergency officials said. The case, which had just completed alternate jury selection, resumed later in the afternoon. Opening statements are expected to begin on Monday.

Investigators said they had received a 911 emergency call at around 13:30 local time (18:30 BMT) telling them that a man had lit himself on fire.

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They identified him as Maxwell Azzarello, 37, who had arrived in New York from his home in Florida sometime in the past week. He had no criminal record in New York, and his family in Florida were unaware that he had travelled to the city.

New York Police Chief Jeffrey Maddrey said Mr Azzarello was seen “shuffling around” in the park before reaching into a bag for the flammable liquid and pamphlets.

The pamphlets were “propaganda-based”, said Chief Maddrey, adding that they were regarding a “conspiracy theory”.

There was a massive police presence outside the courthouse because of the trial, and officers quickly ran into the park shouting for a fire extinguisher. Mr Azzarello was carried away on a stretcher, his body badly burned. The police said he was taken to a hospital burn centre in critical condition.

Witness Julie Berman told reporters: “It was hot, and it didn’t make a lot sense. The whole thing happened so fast… it took me like 20 seconds to figure out what was going on.”

NYPD investigators were later seen collecting pamphlets that Mr Azzarello had scattered before self-immolating. They have deemed the area safe.

Investigators are still interviewing witnesses and said he didn’t appear to say anything before setting fire to himself.

Three NYPD officers and one court officer had minor injuries after helping to extinguish the blaze.

Officials said they will now reassess security outside the court.

Man who set himself on fire outside Trump’s Manhattan hush money trial dies

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BREAKING : Israel launches deadly attacks on Iran

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BREAKING : Israel launches deadly attacks on Iran

Israel has attacked Iran, three people familiar with the matter said, as Iranian state media reported early on Friday that its forces had destroyed drones, days after Iran launched a retaliatory drone strike on Israel.

One source told Reuters the U.S. was not involved but was notified by Israel before the attack.

Iran’s Fars news agency reported three explosions were heard near an army base in the central city of Isfahan. An Iranian official told Reuters there was no missile attack and the explosions were the result of the activation of Iran’s air defense systems.

Iranian state TV said that shortly after midnight “three drones were observed in the sky over Isfahan. The air defense system became active and destroyed these drones in the sky.”

The broadcaster later said the situation in Isfahan was normal and no ground explosions had occurred.

The Israeli military had no comment on the reports.

Israel had said it would retaliate, opens new tab against Iran’s weekend attack, which involved hundreds of drones, opens new tab and missiles, in response to a suspected Israeli strike on its embassy compound in Syria. Most of the Iranian drones and missiles were downed before reaching Israeli territory.

Analysts and observers have raised concerns about the risks of the Israel-Gaza war spreading into the rest of the region.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi had warned Israel before Friday’s strike that Tehran would deliver a “severe response” to any attack on its territory.

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Iran told the United Nations Security Council on Thursday that Israel “must be compelled to stop any further military adventurism against our interests” as the U.N. secretary-general warned that the Middle East was in a “moment of maximum peril.”

Asian shares and bond yields sank on Friday while safe-haven currencies, gold and crude oil jumped. Brent crude futures rose 2% to $88.86 a barrel, the dollar gained broadly, gold rose 1% and S&P 500 futures dropped 1%.
Iran’s state television said nuclear facilities where Iran has been conducting work – which Tehran says is peaceful but which the West believes is aimed at building a weapon – were unharmed.

The Natanz nuclear site, the centerpiece of Iran’s uranium enrichment program, is in Isfahan province.

Airports in Tehran, Shiraz and Isfahan were closed until 0700 GMT, subject to extension, and flights have been cleared from the western half of Iran, slight tracking website FlightRadar24 reported.

Some flights destined for Tehran from Turkish Airlines and Emirates were returning to their origin, FlightRadar24 said on X. An Iran Air flight from Rome to Tehran was diverting to Ankara, Turkey, it showed.

FlightRadar24 showed Emirates, flydubai, Turkish Air, Wizz Air Abu Dhabi and Belavia were among the carriers continuing to use the part of Iran’s airspace that remained open on Friday morning.

Israel’s assault on Gaza began after Palestinian Islamist group Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7, killing 1,200, according to Israeli tallies. Israel’s military offensive has killed over 33,000 Palestinians in Gaza, according to the local health ministry.

Iran-backed groups have declared support for Palestinians, launching attacks from Lebanon, Yemen and Iraq.

BREAKING : Israel launches deadly attacks on Iran

(REUTERS)

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Updated: Tragedy hits Kenya, Defence chief, nine others die in military helicopter crash

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Updated: Tragedy hits Kenya, Defence chief, nine others die in helicopter crash

 

A military helicopter on Thursday crashed in Kenya, claiming the life of the country’s Defence chief, Francis Ogolla, and nine officers on board.

Kenya’s President, William Ruto, confirmed the unfortunate accident in a televised address.

He said the helicopter crashed shortly after take-off Thursday afternoon local time, killing Ogolla and nine other members of the military.

Two people survived the crash, he added.

“I am deeply saddened to announce the passing on of General Francis Omondi Ogolla, the Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces,” he said.

A team of investigators was immediately dispatched to the site of the crash in Elgeyo Marakwet County to determine the cause of the accident, Ruto said.

Ogolla left Nairobi on Thursday to visit troops in the North Rift region of the country for inspection of ongoing school renovations, the president said.

Ruto has convened an urgent meeting of the country’s National Security Council in Nairobi, according to presidential spokesperson, Hussein Mohamed.

“For me, as the Commander in Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces, it is a tragic moment for the Kenya Defence Forces fraternity and it is a most unfortunate day for the nation at large,” Ruto said.

“Our motherland has lost one of her most valiant generals. We have also lost gallant officers, servicemen, and women,” he added.

Ruto said Kenya would observe three days of mourning beginning from Friday.

Ogolla is the first Kenyan military chief to die in active service.

The general joined the Kenya Defence Forces in 1984, becoming 2nd Lieutenant in 1985 before he was posted to the Kenya Air Force, according to the Ministry of Defence website.

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