Moscow concert death toll rises to 139: Russian official

The death toll of a Moscow concert hall terrorist shooting rose Monday to 139, a Russian official announced.

The number of deaths has quickly increased since the attack Friday, after gunmen opened fire on crowds in a suburban Moscow concert hall and lit the building on fire.

Alexander Bastrykin, the head of the country’s Investigative Committee, said Monday on state television that the attack was “carefully planned and prepared,” state media TASS reported.

Bastrykin said 139 people died from the attack, 137 of them at the scene, and that 75 of the 139 people have been identified, including three children. He added that 40 were shot, two were shot and stabbed, and 45 died as a result of the venue catching on fire. He said 182 people were injured.

Four men were charged Sunday with committing the terrorist attack. Two of the suspects accepted responsibility, though concerns were raised about whether they were speaking freely, The Associated Press reported.

An additional three men were arrested Monday, according to state media, charged with assisting the attackers. Police said weapons and tools, including an assault rifle, were recovered from an apartment used by the group, TASS reported.

U.S. intelligence said ISIS-K is responsible for the attack, while Russian President Vladimir Putin has attempted to link the attack to Ukraine.

Putin said Monday that those responsible were “radical Islamists” whose “ideology the world has been fighting for centuries,” according to a translation from The Associated Press.

“This crime can only be a link in a chain of attempts by those who are at war with our country since 2014,” Putin added, referring to the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

American and other international leaders have rejected Putin’s insinuations of Ukrainian involvement.

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