Macron says IS behind Russia attack

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France President, Emmanuel Macron, on Monday, said France has information that Islamic State (IS) carried out Friday’s attack in a Moscow concert hall, warning Russia against exploiting the attack by blaming it on Ukraine.

France has intelligence that “it was an entity of Islamic State that planned the attack and carried it out,” Macron told reporters after arriving on a trip to the French South American region of French Guiana.

He added that “this particular group made several attempts (at attacks) on our own soil.”

Macron however warned Russia against any “exploitation” of the attack, saying it would be “cynical and counterproductive for Russia to use this context to try and turn it against Ukraine”.

IS has claimed responsibility for the Friday evening attack in Moscow in which 137 people were killed.

But Moscow has refused to comment on the claim, with security services and President Vladimir Putin suggesting the perpetrators might have been linked to its adversary Kyiv.

Macron said Paris had offered Russian security services “increased cooperation” – adding that there would be contact on a “technical and ministerial level” rather than direct talks with Putin.

The French leader has not spoken with Putin since trying in a series of phone calls in 2022 to talk him down from his invasion of Ukraine.

“We’ll see how the context evolves and whether the coming days or weeks justify” a personal conversation, Macron said.

Meanwhile, Russia on Monday ordered four men accused of killing at least 137 people in a massacre at a Moscow concert hall to be held in custody on “terror” charges, with the death toll expected to climb as more than 100 people were hospitalised.

AFP

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