Gunman attacks Russian security service headquarters in Moscow, kills employee | CBC News

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Gunman attacks Russian security service headquarters in Moscow, kills employee | CBC News

Gunman attacks Russian security service headquarters in Moscow, kills employee | CBC News

A gunman opened fire on the headquarters of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) in central Moscow on Thursday evening in a rare shooting incident that the FSB said had left at least one of its employees dead.

The attack happened shortly after Russian President Vladimir Putin 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, Russia’s domestic security service, said it had “neutralized” the gunman and was working to establish his identity, the Interfax news agency reported. It was not immediately clear 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. People heard sirens, gunshots and screams in the area, which is also a busy shopping district popular with tourists 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.

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

Putin was aware of the incident, Russian news agencies cited the Kremlin as saying.

FSB officials said the shooting had left at least one of its employees dead. (Shamil Zhumatov/Reuters)

Reuters reporters heard several gunshots 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 told Reuters he had seen the lifeless body of what he thought was a police officer lying in the street.

“The shooting began around [5:40 p.m. local time],” one witness said. “I saw a member of the traffic police running down the road, hiding behind vehicles.”

Five ambulances were seen leaving the cordoned-off area.

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