Foreign diplomats lay flowers in memory of Russia’s concert hall attack victims By Reuters

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MOSCOW (Reuters) – Diplomats from several foreign countries attended a ceremony on Saturday to commemorate the victims of this month’s mass shooting at a concert hall near Moscow, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said.

Gunmen opened fire on concertgoers with automatic weapons on March 22 in Russia’s worst attack in two decades, killing at least 144 people.

“On March 30, 2024, there was an impromptu wreath-laying ceremony near Crocus City Hall. Leaders and employees of more than 130 delegations (more than 250 people) participated in the event,” said the government of the ministry. The Protocol Department said on its website.

Among the participants were ambassadors from the United States, the European Union, Africa, Latin America, as well as representatives of the UN and other organizations, Kommersant newspaper reported.

They, along with other guests, placed flowers at the memorial and released white balloons into the sky.

“We are very grateful to the honorable representatives of the diplomatic corps for their cooperation with the Russian people at such a difficult time,” the protocol department said.

The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack and US officials have intelligence that it was carried out by the branch of the Islamic State Khorasan (ISIS-K) network in Afghanistan.

Russian investigators said on Thursday they had found evidence that the concert shooters were affiliated with “Ukrainian patriots”, which the United States dismissed as baseless lies.

Russia has said from the beginning that it believes Ukraine is involved in the attack, although Kyiv has denied it.

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