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Russia charges four men over Moscow concert hall attack

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Three of the four suspects charged with carrying out the concert hall attack in Moscow that killed more than 130 people admitted guilt for the incident in a Russian court Sunday.

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Moscow’s Basmanny District Court formally charged Dalerdzhon Mirzoyev, 32; Saidakrami Rachabalizoda, 30; Mukhammadsobir Faizov, 19; and Shamsidin Fariduni, 25, with committing a group terrorist attack resulting in the death of others. The offense carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

The court ordered that the men, all of whom are citizens of Tajikistan, be held in pre-trial custody until May 22.

Mirzoyev, Rachabalizoda and Shamsidin Fariduni all admitted guilt after being charged. The fourth, Faizov, was brought to court directly from a hospital in a wheelchair and sat with his eyes closed throughout the proceedings. He was attended by medics while in court, where he wore a hospital gown and trousers and was seen with multiple cuts.

The other three suspects appeared in court heavily bruised with swollen faces amid reports in Russian media that they were tortured during interrogation by the security services.

One suspect, Saidakrami Rachabalizoda, had a heavily bandaged ear. Russian media reported Saturday that one of the suspects had his ear cut off during interrogation. The Associated Press couldn’t verify the report or the videos which purported to show this.

The hearing came as Russia observed a national day of mourning, following the attack Friday on the suburban Crocus City Hall concert venue that killed at least 137 people.

The attack, which has been claimed by an affiliate of the Islamic State group, is the deadliest on Russian soil in years.

Russian authorities arrested the four suspected attackers Saturday, with seven more people detained on suspicion of involvement in the attack, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an address to the nation Saturday night. He claimed they were captured while fleeing to Ukraine, something that Kyiv firmly denied.

(AP)

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