Shoot-out at Moscow intelligence service HQ leaves one dead

Lone gunman fails to get into Lubyanka building but officer killed in attack, say FSB

A security cordon next to the Federal Security Service’s office in Moscow. Photograph: Getty

A security cordon next to the Federal Security Service’s office in Moscow. Photograph: Getty

 

A gunman opened fire on the headquarters of Russia’s Federal Security Service, known as the FSB, in central Moscow on Thursday evening killing at least one security service officer.

The attack happened shortly after President Vladimir Putin had delivered his annual news conference and while he was speaking at a Kremlin event designed to celebrate the work of the security services.

The FSB suspected the attack may have been planned to coincide with Mr Putin’s evening speech, said a source close to the service.

The domestic intelligence organisation said it had “neutralised” the gunman and was working to establish his identity, the Interfax news agency reported. It is unclear what his motive was.

Footage posted on social media showed automatic gunfire hitting the walls of the FSB’s main building on Lubyanka Square in central Moscow. Sirens, gunshots and screams were heard by people in the area, which is also a busy shopping district popular with tourists that is a short walk from the Kremlin.

The FSB, which Putin used to head, said several people had been wounded in the attack. Interfax cited the health ministry as saying five people had been hurt, some of them seriously, including two FSB employees.

Defusing explosives

Russian investigators said they had opened a criminal case into the attempted murder of law enforcement officers.

Several gunshots could be heard during the evening, followed by what sounded like an explosion amid unconfirmed reports that sappers were defusing explosive devices left behind by the gunman.

Unverified videos shared on social media showed several people resembling police officers holding assault rifles running along a nearby street.

One witness said he had seen the lifeless body of what he thought was a police officer lying in the street.

“The shooting began around 17:40,” said one witness. “I saw a member of the traffic police running down the road, hiding behind vehicles.” – Reuters