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World leaders condemn Russian concert hall attack

By AFP

March 23, 2024 05:32 PM


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World leaders denounced a deadly attack by gunmen on a Moscow concert hall that killed more than 90 people and wounded at least another 100.

Attackers dressed in camouflage uniforms entered the Crocus City venue before the start of a rock concert on Friday, opened fire on the audience and threw flammable liquid, according to a journalist for the RIA Novosti news agency at the scene.

The assault was claimed by the Islamic State group.

Here are the condemnations, offers of condolences and expressions of solidarity from governments around the world.

- Russia -
President Vladimir Putin wished a speedy recovery to the wounded victims and conveyed his thanks to doctors, Russia's deputy prime minister Tatyana Golikova was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies on Saturday after meeting with him.

Putin has yet to comment publicly on the attack.

- Ukraine -
Ukraine, which has been facing a Russian military offensive for the past two years, had "nothing to do" with the attack, presidential aide Mykhailo Podolyak said on Telegram.

The main intelligence directorate of the Ukrainian defence ministry said "the terrorist attack in Moscow was a planned and deliberate provocation by the Russian special services on Putin's orders," alleging that the aim was to "further escalate and expand the war" with Ukraine.

- The UN -
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday condemned the attack "in the strongest possible terms," spokesman Farhan Haq said in a statement.

Guterres "conveys his deep condolences to the bereaved families and the people and the Government of the Russian Federation," he added, referring to Russia by its official name.

The UN Security Council also offered its condolences and urged all states "to cooperate actively" with the Russian government and other authorities to hold perpetrators and backers of "these reprehensible acts of terrorism accountable and bring them to justice".

- The United States -
The White House sent its condolences to the victims of the "terrible" attack, saying it was trying to get more information.

"Our thoughts are with the victims of this terrible shooting attack," National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters. "The images are just horrible and just hard to watch."

The White House also said that the United States had warned Russian authorities earlier this month about a "planned terrorist attack" possibly targeting "large gatherings" in Moscow.

- China -
President Xi Jinping "strongly condemned" the attack and sent his condolences to Putin, state media reported.

Xi "stressed that China opposes all form of terrorism, strongly condemns the terrorist attack and firmly supports the Russian government's efforts to safeguard its national security and stability," Xinhua news agency said.

- The EU -
The European Union said it was "shocked and appalled" by the Moscow attack.

"The EU condemns any attacks against civilians. Our thoughts are with all those Russian citizens affected," said an EU spokesman.

- The United Kingdom -
Britain's foreign minister David Cameron said that the UK condemned "in the strongest terms the deadly terrorist attack".

"We offer our heartfelt condolences and express our deepest sympathy to the families of the many victims," he added.

- France -
French President Emmanuel Macron said he "strongly condemns the terrorist attack claimed by the Islamic State,",according to the Elysee Palace.

"France expresses its solidarity with the victims, their loved ones and all the Russian people," the palace said.

- Germany -
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz condemned "the terrible terrorist attack against innocent spectators" in a post on X and said that "our thoughts are with the victims' families and all those wounded".

Germany's foreign office called the images of the attack "horrific" in a post on X.

- Italy -
Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni called the attack an "odious act of terrorism".

"The horror of the massacre of innocent civilians in Moscow is unacceptable," Meloni said in a statement, expressing her "full solidarity with the affected people and the victims' families".

- Spain -
Spain said it was "shocked" by the attack, saying it "condemns any form of violence".

"Our solidarity with the victims, their families and the Russian people," the Spanish foreign ministry wrote on X.

- Sweden -
The Swedish foreign affairs ministry said on X that it was "appalled by the attack" and condemns "any attacks against civilians".

- Denmark -
The Danish foreign ministry condemned "the terrible attack in Moscow" and sent "condolences to the victims and their loved ones," in a post on X.

- Israel -
"Saddened by tonight's tragic events in Moscow. Our hearts go out to the families of the victims and to all those affected," Israeli foreign minister Israel Katz posted on X.

- Palestinian Authority -
The presidency of the Palestinian Authority condemned the attack and "affirmed its solidarity and support for the Russian leadership and the friendly people of Russia, emphasising its keenness on stability in the friendly Russian Federation," according to the official Wafa news agency.

- Syria -
In a letter to Putin, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said the attack was linked to the "painful defeats of neo-Nazism" in Moscow's "special military operation" in Ukraine.

He said "we condemn this brutal act and all the bloodshed committed by terrorists around the world" and pledged to support Putin "in our joint war against terrorism and cross-border extremism".

- Iran -
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, in a message to Putin, expressed his condolences, according to the presidency website.

Raisi also called for serious action by the international community to punish the plotters and perpetrators.

- Turkey -
Turkey's foreign ministry condemned "this heinous terrorist attack on innocent civilians" and sent condolences to the Russian people and government.

- African Union -
Moussa Faki Mahamat, chairman of the African Union Commission, said on X that he was "shocked to learn of the horrific terror attack in Moscow".

He expressed solidarity with the Russian people and government "following this heinous attack".

- Venezuela -
"We express our support for President Vladimir Putin and raise our voice to categorically reject any act of violence," said Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on X.

- Mexico -
Mexico's foreign affairs ministry said it "rejects any act of violence against civilian lives".

- India -
"India stands in solidarity with the government and the people of the Russian Federation in this hour of grief," Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on X, denouncing the "heinous terrorist attack".

- Japan -
Japan condemned the attack, extended its condolences to the bereaved and expressed "its heartfelt sympathy to those who were injured", according to a statement from foreign ministry press secretary Kobayashi Maki.


AFP


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