Russian President Vladimir Putin has pledged to track down and punish those behind the “bloody and barbaric” terrorist attack in a concert hall outside Moscow as the death toll has soared to 133, according to Russian authorities.

Russia’s state Investigative Committee said on Saturday 133 people had been killed in the attack. More than 150 people have also been injured in the attack.

The Investigative Committee said the death toll is even feared to rise further given the scale of destruction inflicted on the Crocus City Hall in Moscow Region.

Emergency services continue to dig through the rubble of the building, which was partially destroyed in a massive fire set off by the attackers.

According to Russian authorities, at least four men armed with assault rifles stormed the hall on Friday evening ahead of a rock concert.

The attackers entered the concert hall and shot civilians on sight at point-blank range, and set it on fire.

Following the massacre, the suspects fled the scene, but were later on apprehended by Russian law enforcement near the Ukraine border.

The Russian authorities said the preliminary findings showed that the attackers were attempting to cross into Ukraine.

The FSB security service said the gunmen had contacts in Ukraine and were captured near the border. It said they were being transferred to Moscow.

Putin: ‘All perpetrators, organizers will be punished’

In a televised address on Saturday, President Putin said 11 people had been arrested, including the four gunmen who carried out the attack.

“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,” he said.

The Russian president declared a national day of mourning on Sunday, March 24, to commemorate the victims of the attack.

Putin said that “all the perpetrators, organizers and those who ordered this crime will be justly and inevitably punished.”

“Whoever they are, whoever is guiding them,” Putin added.

“We will identify and punish everyone who stands behind the terrorists, who prepared this atrocity, this strike against Russia, against our people,” the Russian leader announced.

Putin expressed his gratitude to all first responders, to law enforcement, and to ordinary citizens, too, who helped the victims of the attack.

”In Moscow and Moscow Region, in all regions of the country, additional anti-terrorism and anti-saboteur measures have been introduced,” he announced.

“The main thing now is to prevent those who are behind this bloodbath from committing a new crime,” he said.

Culled from Press TV 

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