The President of Russia, Vladimir Putin has pledged to take action against those responsible for what he termed a “barbaric terrorist attack” on a concert hall in Moscow, which claimed the lives of over 130 individuals.

President Putin stated that Russia has apprehended four gunmen who were attempting to escape to Ukraine.

Ukraine has vehemently denied any involvement, and in his initial public comments regarding the attack, Putin did not mention the claims of responsibility made by the Islamic State group (IS).

At least 133 individuals lost their lives when gunmen in camouflage attire raided the Crocus City Hall in Krasnogorsk, a northern suburb of Moscow, before setting fire to the building on Friday evening.

The jihadist group has asserted responsibility for the attack, stating on a Telegram channel on Saturday that it was executed by four IS fighters armed with machine guns, a pistol, knives, and firebombs. The attack was described as part of “the ongoing war” against “countries opposing Islam.”

This incident marks the deadliest attack in Russia in nearly two decades and the deadliest in Europe to be claimed by IS.

Russian officials expect the death toll to rise further, with more than 100 injured in hospital.

“Terrorists, murderers, non-humans … have only one unenviable fate: retribution and oblivion,” Putin said in a televised address to the nation on Saturday.

Calling the attack a “barbaric, terrorist act”, he said “all four direct perpetrators … all those who shot and killed people, have been found and detained”.

“They tried to escape and were travelling towards Ukraine, where, according to preliminary data, a window was prepared for them on the Ukrainian side to cross the state border,” he added.

Putin also compared the attackers to “Nazis” and said the attack was an “atrocity, a strike against Russia and our people”.

He named Sunday a day of national mourning.

Russia arrested 11 people in connection with the attack on Saturday, the FSB security service said.

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