13 people including eleven children killed in Central Russia school shooting

Russia's Investigative Committee said that two teachers and two security guards at school number 88 in the city of Izhevsk were also killed in the shooting.

Published: 26th September 2022 01:59 PM  |   Last Updated: 26th September 2022 07:51 PM   |  A+A-

Russia school shooting

Police and paramedics work at the scene of a shooting at school No. 88 in Izhevsk, Russia. (Photo | AP)

By Agencies

A gunman opened fire at a school in central Russia on Monday, which left fifteen people dead including eleven children, Russia's Investigative Committee said in a statement on Telegram.

Several minors and adults were wounded.

Two teachers and two security guards were among those who lost their lives in the attack.

The shooting took place at school number 88 in the city of Izhevsk. The school has almost 1000 pupils and 80 teachers. It educates children between grades 1 and 11.

Russian President Vladimir Putin denounced the "inhuman terrorist attack", the Kremlin said, adding that the shooter "apparently belongs to a neo-fascist group".

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The attack was the latest in a series of school shootings that have shaken Russia in recent years and came with the country on edge over efforts to mobilise tens of thousands of men to fight in Ukraine.

Media reports say that the attacker allegedly killed the security guard before going on to shoot at the children. Later, the shooter allegedly shot himself in one of the classrooms on thr fourth floor of the school building.

"The body of the man who opened fire has now been found by police. According to reports, he committed suicide," the ministry had said on Telegram.

The region's governor Alexander Brechalov confirmed there were "casualties and wounded among children" while speaking in a video statement outside the school in Izhevsk.

Brechalov has declared a period of mourning in the region to last until Thursday.

Visuals shared on TV channels show students and teachers being evacuated from the school and ambulances arriving at the scene. Rescue workers could be seen running inside the school with stretchers.

A BBC report said that the school is located in the centre of Izhevsk, a city of about 650,000 residents, close to central government buildings. Izhevsk is the capital of the Udmurtia region, located to the west of the Ural mountains, some 960 kilometers (596 miles) east of Moscow.

Shooter's identity and motive still unclear

According to investigators, the shooter was wearing a "black top with Nazi symbols and a balaclava."

He was later identified as a local man born in 1988, who graduated from the school. No other details have been released.

Second gun attack of the day

The school attack came just hours after a man had opened fire and severely wounded a recruitment officer at an enlistment centre in Siberia.

Russia's last major school shooting was in April, when an armed man opened fire in a kindergarten in the central Ulyanovsk region, leaving a teacher and two children dead.

The shooter, described as "mentally ill", was later found dead, with officials saying he had shot himself.

Tightening gun laws

Mass shootings at schools and universities in Russia were rare until 2021, when the country was rocked by two separate killing sprees in the central Russian cities of Kazan and Perm that spurred lawmakers to tighten laws regulating access to guns.

In September 2021, a student dressed in black tactical clothing and helmet armed with a hunting rifle swept through Perm State University buildings killing six people, mostly women, and injuring two dozen others.

The gunman resisted arrest and was shot by law enforcement as he was apprehended and moved to a medical facility for treatment.

It was the second such attack that year, after a 19-year-old former student shot dead nine people at his old school in the Kazan in May.

Investigators said that the gunman suffered from a brain disorder, but was deemed fit to receive a license for the semi-automatic shotgun that he used.

On the day of that attack President Vladimir Putin called for a review of gun control laws and the age to acquire hunting rifles was increased from 18 to 21 and medical checks were strengthened.

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Authorities have blamed foreign influence for previous school shootings, saying young Russians have been exposed online and on television to similar attacks in the United States and elsewhere.

Other high-profile shooting cases have taken place in Russia's army, putting the issue of hazing in the spotlight in the country were military service is compulsory for men aged between 18 and 27.

In November 2020, a 20-year-old soldier killed three fellow servicemen at a military base near the city of Voronezh. In a similar attack in 2019, a young recruit shot dead eight servicemen, saying he faced bullying and harassment in the army.

(With inputs from AP and AFP)



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