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Russian accounts of Moscow attack a ‘smokescreen’ says, UK finance minister

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NEW DELHI: British finance minister Jeremy Hunt said that the UK had “very little confidence” in Russia‘s statements on the recent Moscow concert hall attack, accusing it of attempting to “defend” its assault on Ukraine.
The attack at the Crocus City Hall in a suburb on the northern edge of Moscow on Friday resulted in the death of 133 individuals, with the Islamic State group claiming responsibility for the same.
While Russian authorities have not yet blamed the group, but President Vladimir Putin said that the attackers were intercepted while “travelling towards Ukraine where, according to preliminary information, they had a window to cross the border”.
Russia’s FSB security service said that the attackers were “in contact” with individuals in Ukraine while attempting to escape the country.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Hunt told Sky News that “I take what the Russian government says with an enormous pinch of salt… after what we’ve seen from them over the last few years.
“We know that they are creating a smokescreen of propaganda to defend an utterly evil invasion of Ukraine.
“But that doesn’t mean that it’s not a tragedy when innocent people lose their lives, when you have horrible bombings,” he added.
Hunt also warned the UK and other European countries to “absolutely” be concerned about the re-emergence of IS on the global stage.
“We are very lucky in this country that we have incredibly impressive intelligence agencies who have been successful… in foiling a lot of terrorist threats over recent years, but we have to remain vigilant,” he said.
“If it is Islamic State, they’re utterly indiscriminate in what they do, they’re prepared to murder in the most horrific way,” he added.
(With inputs from agencies)

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