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Moscow attack: Four suspects in custody, death toll hits 137

All four appeared to have been beaten, and one was brought to court in a wheelchair. Authorities charged them with committing an act of terrorism.

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Russia has charged four men who, it says, attacked a Moscow concert hall and killed at least 137 people.

All four appeared to have been beaten, and one was brought to court in a wheelchair. Authorities charged them with committing an act of terrorism.

The Islamic State group, or IS, said it carried out Friday’s outrage at Crocus City Hall and posted video evidence.

Russian officials have claimed, without evidence, Ukrainian involvement. Kyiv says the claim is “absurd.”

However, Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for the Kremlin, stated in a news conference on Monday that it was inappropriate to comment on the claim until the investigation was complete.

He also said that because of the tense international situation, there was little collaboration between countries on fighting terrorism.

France has raised its terror alert to the highest level, with President Macron saying on Monday that the Islamic State group behind the Moscow attack had also recently been targeting France.

Rescuers are continuing to search the rubble of the concert hall for victims, and regional officials said the operation would carry on through Tuesday afternoon.

Russian authorities named the four suspects as Dalerdzhon Mirzoyev, Saidakrami Murodali Rachabalizoda, Shamsidin Fariduni, and Muhammadsobir Fayzov.

Video showed masked police marching three of them, bent double, into Basmanny district court in the Russian capital.

Russian security forces apparently leaked videos of brutal interrogation sessions, and reports suggest at least one had received electric shocks.

Asked about the alleged torture, Mr. Peskov refused to comment.

The court identified the men as Mirzoyev and Rachabalizoda. The latter had his ear heavily bandaged, reportedly due to a partial amputation during his arrest.

Mirzoyev also appeared to have a torn plastic bag wrapped around his neck.

The face of the man identified as Fariduni was badly swollen, while the man named Fayzov appeared to lose consciousness as he was brought into court in a wheelchair wearing a thin hospital gown.

He appeared to have an eye missing, according to the Reuters news agency.

All were held in a glass-panelled booth and guarded by masked police during their time in court.

A court statement on the Telegram messaging service said Mirzoyev had “admitted his guilt in full,” while Rachabalizoda also “admitted guilt.”

Russia’s state news agency, Tass, identified the men as citizens of Tajikistan.

The court added that all four must remain in pre-trial detention until at least May 22.

Several senior officials have called for the lifting of Russia’s death penalty moratorium in response to the attack.

On Friday night, four gunmen stormed Crocus City Hall in Krasnogorsk, a northern Moscow suburb, and began firing on some of the estimated 6,000 people who were attending a rock concert.

The attackers also set fires, which engulfed the venue and caused the roof to collapse.

The Russian authorities reported 137 fatalities and over 100 injuries.

Around 14 hours after the attack, Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) arrested the men who appeared in court on Sunday. Bryansk is around 400km (250 miles) south-west of Moscow.

Officials have suggested, without evidence, that the attackers were being helped by Ukraine, and Kyiv had “prepared a window” to allow them to cross the border and escape into its territory.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky on Sunday rejected the claims, and his military intelligence directorate said it was “absurd” to suggest the men were trying to cross a heavily mined border, teeming with hundreds of thousands of Russian soldiers, to reach safety.

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