Teenage students killed in Crimea college 'terrorist' attack

Pauline Gross
October 17, 2018

Gunfire and an explosion rocked a technical school in the Crimean city of Kerch on Wednesday.

Law enforcement officials said they were treating the incident, in which numerous victims were teenage pupils, as a terrorist attack. "People are panicking", the Russian Telegram news service Mash cited an unnamed student as saying.

It was not immediately clear if the alleged attacker had detonated the explosive device.

Olga Grebennikova, director of the vocational college in Kerch, told KerchNet TV that men armed with automatic rifles burst into the college and "killed everyone they saw".

Russia's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine triggered Western sanctions.

The attack had first been reported as an explosion, with Russia's National Anti-Terrorism Committee saying an "unidentified explosive device" had gone off.

Dmitry Peskov, the spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, told reporters that officials are looking into a possible terrorist attack. "According to preliminary information, 10 people died and there are around 50 injured".

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The blast is the first fatal attack on the territory of Russian Federation since a suicide bomber killed 16 people on the St. Petersburg metro in April previous year.

"I locked the door, hoping he wouldn't hear me", said Gavrilov, who recalled seeing dead bodies lining the floor and charred walls as he evacuated the school with the help of police. They also beefed up security at a new 19-kilometer (11.8-mile) bridge that links the peninsula with Russian Federation that opened earlier this year.

Video footage from the scene showed armoured personnel carriers and military trucks lined up on the approach to the college in Kerch.

A student carried out the attack and shot himself, according to the leader of the Russian-annexed peninsula Sergei Askyonov.

Investigators released a statement saying an explosive device filled with "metal objects" had detonated in the dining area.

"There are already lots of people in the emergency room, and in the operating theatre", an employee of the nearest hospital said.

Other reports by GizPress

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