FSB shooting: Man opens fire near HQ of Russian intelligence in central Moscow, one FSB staff killed
Gunfire has broken out near central Moscow's Lubyanka Square in the immediate vicinity of the Federal Security Service building. The authorities said the gunman was neutralized and two FSB officers seriously injured.
The shooting occurred around 6pm local time right at the heart of Russia’s capital on a street leading to the square and the iconic FSB building and some 10 minutes on foot from the Kremlin.
Gunfire can be heard in several videos from the scene circulating on social media. The footage also shows multiple law enforcement officers in full gear and ambulances.
Видео из центра Москвы, где у здания ФСБ произошла стрельба pic.twitter.com/y5XpKXtxuN— Александр Коц (@sashakots) December 19, 2019
It still remains unclear what exactly happened. The shooting reportedly started near FSB's public office on Bolshaya Lubyanka street. The security services only confirmed that a gunman was neutralized and Russia’s Health Ministry said two FSB operatives received serious wounds during the shooting.
One video clip on social media showed a person running onto the street and falling down, while in another several people can be seen lying on the ground with others trying to give them first aid.
Момент стрельбы на Лубянке pic.twitter.com/yP8yiXLPxT— Лентач (@oldLentach) December 19, 2019
Первые минуты после стрельбы на Лубянке. Раненым оказывают помощь @Lshotpic.twitter.com/op7sUDr0ph— работает Оруэлл (@OrwellAtWork) December 19, 2019
The area is popular with Moscow citizens and tourists for its restaurants, high-end shops and various attractions for the holidays. Civilians have apparently not deemed the incident to be too serious, as footage from the scene shows them casually strolling past crouching law enforcement officers armed with assault rifles and peeking out of cafe windows.
“Very many shots were fired. I can’t tell how many, but very many,” eyewitness Vladimir Adyasov told RT. “[The gunfire] lasted about a minute and a half. The situation was very dangerous.”
Police can be heard in the videos urging people to leave the area, while public transportation was rerouted. The shooting triggered a large law enforcement response; armed police, as well as the FSB's own special forces, were swiftly dispatched to the scene.
The incident took place a day before the one when Russia commemorates the security services (FSB) and after President Vladimir Putin finished his annual press conference, although there's no official confirmation that the shooting may be connected to any of the events.
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