Hard to believe Daesh could've launched Moscow attack: Russia

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Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova

Russia says it is "extremely hard to believe" that Daesh could have staged the recent hugely deadly attack on a Moscow concert hall that the country's intelligence and security officials have blamed on Ukraine and its Western backers.

Four gunmen burst into the Russian capital's Crocus City Hall on Friday and began shooting at the people, who were attending an event. The Takfiri terrorist group has allegedly claimed responsibility for the massacre that killed at least 143.

Speaking on Wednesday, however, Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova cast that claim into serious doubt.

"In order to ward off suspicions from the collective West, they urgently needed to come up with something, so they resorted to ISIS (Daesh), pulled an ace out of their sleeve, and literally a few hours after the terrorist attack, the Anglo-Saxon media began disseminating precisely these versions," she said.

The chief of the Russian internal intelligence (FSB), Alexander Bortnikov has suggested that not only Ukraine, but also the United States and Britain might have been behind the shooting.

The Russian Federal Security Service has also said the gunmen planned to travel to Ukraine, where they were to be welcomed as "heroes." The FSB said Western intelligence services aided the attackers.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has also suggested that Ukraine stood to derive benefit from the attack and that Kiev might have played a role.

He has said that someone on the Ukrainian side had prepared a "window" for the gunmen to escape across the border before they were captured in western Russia on Friday night.

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