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Students hailed for saving lives during Moscow attack

Russia says Moscow attackers got financial backing from Ukraine
Image: Russian Embassy UK at X

Two Russian students, who helped dozens flee the concert venue where 137 people were killed by gunmen near Moscow last week, were honoured by their school on Monday.

Islam Khalilov and Artem Donskov — both 15 and students at the same school who worked at the Crocus City Hall — were presented with laptops as awards, Russian media reported.

Amateur video circulating on social media showed Khalilov running towards danger and directing dozens of panicked people fleeing gunshots towards exits.

“To tell the truth, I was very scared,” he told Russian radio, saying he made sure no one was left behind before fleeing the scene himself.

“We were shown and told where to send people in case of an incident. I knew where to take them to safety,” he added.

Donskov escorted another group seeking a way out from the burning building.

Khalilov is due to receive an award this week from the Spiritual Assembly of Muslims in Russia, a major religious organization, the state-run TASS news agency reported.

The Islamic State group has said several times since the attack on Friday that it was responsible, and IS-affiliated media channels have published videos of the gunmen inside the venue shooting concert-goers.

The Kremlin has however not commented on the claims and Russian leader Vladimir Putin instead has linked the attackers to Ukraine.

Another man, who was at the scene of the attack with his wife to attend a rock concert scheduled that evening, disarmed one of the assailants, witnesses and media reports said.

The man, who requested anonymity, told Russian media he had attacked one of the gunmen as he was reloading.

A security guard separately told the Russian newspaper Izvestia that he and other men had blocked a door in a corridor that was being shot at, allowing another group of people caught up in the attack to leave.


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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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