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US had warned Russia of possible terror attack on ‘large gatherings’: White House

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WASHINGTON: The United States warned Russian authorities earlier in March about a terrorist attack possibly targeting “large gatherings” in Moscow, the White House said Friday, hours after a mass shooting killed at least 60 outside the Russian capital.
“Earlier this month, the US government had information about a planned terrorist attack in Moscow — potentially targeting large gatherings, to include concerts” and Washington “shared this information with Russian authorities,” National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson said.
The Islamic State group on Saturday claimed responsibility for the attack on Crocus City Hall, in Moscow. The attack resulted in the deaths of more than 60 individuals and left 145 injured.
According to AFP, the group in a statement on the Telegram messaging app said that IS fighters “attacked a large gathering… on the outskirts of the Russian capital Moscow.”
According to Russian news sources, the gunmen hurled explosives, igniting a large fire at the hall capable of housing 6,000 people. Footage from outside captured the building engulfed in flames, while a sizable plume of smoke billowed into the night sky. The street was illuminated by the flashing blue lights of numerous fire engines, ambulances, and other emergency vehicles.
Emergency services reported that approximately 100 individuals were evacuated from the basement of a Moscow concert hall following a shooting and fire outbreak on Friday. Efforts are underway to assist others seeking refuge on the roof.

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