Foreign diplomats lay flowers at site of Moscow concert hall attack

Foreign diplomats in Russia have laid flowers at the site of last week’s attack on a suburban Moscow concert hall that killed 144 people.

Those in attendance included British deputy head of mission to Russia Tom Dodd and representatives of the US, countries in the EU, Africa and Latin America.

Russian state news agency RIA Novosti noted that the attendees included representatives of “unfriendly states”.

Since the attack, thousands of people have brought bunches of flowers, wreaths and other tokens such as teddy bears, creating a makeshift memorial at the Crocus City Hall.

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Members of foreign diplomatic missions attend a ceremony in Moscow (Sergei Ilnitsky/Pool Photo via AP)

Previous figures have been much lower and it did not explain the discrepancy.

The death toll rose to 144 on Friday when a severely injured victim died in hospital, according to Russian health minister Mikhail Murashko.

An affiliate of the so-called Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack, the deadliest on Russian soil in years. The Kremlin, however, has insisted that Ukraine and the West had a role, something Kyiv has vehemently denied.

Nine people were detained by Tajikistan’s state security service in relation to the attack, RIA Novosti said on Friday.

In Russia, a total of nine suspects have faced court so far and were remanded in pre-trial detention.

The latest hearing took place on Friday, with a judge in the Basmanny District Court ruling that suspect Lutfulloi Nazrimad should be held in custody until at least May 22.

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A makeshift memorial has been created in front of Crocus City Hall (Sergei Ilnitsky/Pool Photo via AP)

Since the attack, Tajikistan’s Ministry of Labour, Migration and Employment has seen an outflow of migrants workers from Moscow back to Tajikistan.

“There are a lot of calls. These are most likely not so much complaints about harassment but about our citizens’ fear, panic, many want to leave. We are now monitoring the situation; more people are coming (to Tajikistan) than leaving,” deputy labour minister Shakhnoza Nodiri told Tass, the news agency, on Saturday.

Russian officials previously said that 11 suspects had been arrested, including four who allegedly carried out the attack.

Those four, identified as Tajik nationals, appeared in a Moscow court on Sunday on terrorism charges and showed signs of severe beatings. One appeared to be barely conscious during the hearing.

Russia’s Investigative Committee said on Thursday it had detained another suspect on suspicion of being involved in financing the attack. It did not give further details of the suspect’s identity or alleged actions.

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