Multiple camouflaged gunmen ambushed and shot patrons at a concert hall in Moscow on Friday, killing 40 and wounding more than 100. The venue was reportedly set fire during the attack, which was the most fatal one in Russia in years, per ABC News.

The New York Times reported that a branch of the Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack.

“U.S. officials confirmed the claim shortly afterward,” the article said.

Friday’s attack comes days after Russian President Vladimir Putin was reelected, reported Reuters.

Moscow’s health care ministry lists 145 people who have been hospitalized due to the attack, including six children, according to The New York Times.

What happened in Russia?

According to ABC News, Crocus City Hall, which accommodates up to 6,000 people, is one of the most popular music venues and shopping complexes in the Moscow region. At the time of the shooting, crowds were gathered to watch Piknik (Picnic in English) — a well-known Russian rock band.

RIA Novosti, a news agency, stated that armed individuals busted into the venue and “opened fire with automatic weapons” and “threw a grenade or an incendiary bomb,” starting a fire, per CNN.

Multiple videos shared on social media show the gunmen entering the venue, and others showed people “screaming at the sound of gunshots” and fleeing the concert hall, according to The New York Times. A victim identified only as Marina stated, “As soon as I heard automatic rifle shots I started running, too.”

As shots were fired, the structure’s upper floors caught fire. The fire then intensified after explosives were thrown and detonated.

Emergency services then got word of the attack and dispatched helicopters to rescue people from the building’s roof. Shortly after, riot police, firefighters, doctors and other special forces arrived at the scene. It’s unclear when the shooters left, but they reportedly were gone before authorities arrived, per ABC News.

The roof near the concert stage began to collapse around 10 p.m. local time, according to The New York Times.

Per CNN, about 100 people were evacuated from the building. Late Friday rescuers were still working to help get more people off the roof.

A man speaks to journalists as a massive blaze seen over the Crocus City Hall on the western edge of Moscow, Russia, Friday, March 22, 2024. Several gunmen burst into a big concert hall in Moscow and fired automatic weapons at the crowd, injuring an unspecified number of people and setting a massive blaze in an apparent terror attack days after President Vladimir Putin cemented his grip on the country in a highly orchestrated electoral landslide. | Dmitry Serebryakov

Response to the attack

Russia’s Investigative Committee, which is similar to the FBI in the U.S., stated Friday that it had opened a criminal case and was investigating the attack as a terrorist act. Its investigators were dispatched to the concert hall, The New York Times reported.

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said in a statement shared by CNN, “Today a terrible tragedy occurred in the Crocus City center. My condolences to the loved ones of the victims. I gave orders to provide all necessary assistance to everyone who suffered during the incident.” Because of this incident, he has cancelled all public events in Moscow this weekend.

ABC News reported that security has been tightened by authorities at Moscow’s railway stations, airports and subway systems.

Putin has yet to comment on the attack, but a spokesperson shared he’s being briefed about the incident, per The New York Times.