All South Africans in Russia are safe following terrorist attack

All South African embassy staff members and students are safe in Russia following a terrorist attack at Moscow’s Crocus City Hall on Friday night.

The spokesperson for the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, Clayson Monyela, confirmed this on Sunday.

The attack claimed the lives of more than 130 people. Over 100 more people are receiving treatment in hospitals.

Monyela said that the South African embassy staff in Moscow, including locally recruited personnel, have been accounted for.

Embassy staff and students are safe

“The South African embassy staff in Moscow, including local recruited personnel, are all accounted for,” Monyela said.

The South African students who reside in Russia have also been deemed safe.

“All South African students that we know of in Moscow are safe. The South African government condemns this attack and all acts of terror.”

Monyela extended his condolences to the families of the victims and wished those who were injured in the attack a speedy recovery.

He said the department will continue to monitor the developments in that country and share updates.

President Cyril Ramaphosa told the media during his election campaign in the Eastern Cape on Saturday that he would call Russia’s President Vladimir Putin in the next few days to convey South Africa’s condolences.

Masked assailants
The attack, which Russian authorities say was one of the most lethal in recent years, ensued when a group of armed men disrupted a performance at Crocus City Hall.
Videos circulating online show the chilling moments at which at least two masked assailants entered the venue, and one of them opened fire on concertgoers.
Additional footage shows a group of assailants targeting fleeing concertgoers at close range, with the grim sound of gunfire audible.
The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the havoc through a message on its Telegram channel, further escalating concerns over international security.
Russia vows to punish the perpetrators
The Russian government said on Saturday it had arrested four gunmen suspected of carrying out the shooting.
Putin pledged to track down and punish all those behind the attack.
In a televised address, Putin said: “They tried to hide and moved towards Ukraine, where, according to preliminary data, a window was prepared for them on the Ukrainian side to cross the state border.
“All the perpetrators, organisers and those who ordered this crime will be justly and inevitably punished. Whoever they are, whoever is guiding them.
“We will identify and punish everyone who stands behind the terrorists, who prepared this atrocity, this strike against Russia, against our people.”

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