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Putin ‘deeply mourns’ death of 11 Russian schoolchildren, killed by gunman wearing swastika T-shirt

AP

At least 15 people have been killed after a gunman with a swastika on his T-shirt opened fire at a school in the western Russian city of Izhevsk.

Among the dead were 11 children, said police. Two teachers and two security guards were also killed.

Another 24 people were injured, including 22 children, Russia’s Investigative Committee, which handles major crimes, said, amid fears the death toll could climb higher.

The gunman later killed himself, said the committee, who also revealed the details about what he was wearing.

The committee is looking into the attacker’s suspected neo-Nazi links and named him as Artem Kazantsev, a man in his early thirties who was a graduate of the school.

“Currently investigators... are conducting a search of his residence and studying the personality of the attacker, his views and surrounding milieu,” the committee said in a statement. “Checks are being made into his adherence to neo-fascist views and Nazi ideology.”

Investigators also released a short video showing the man’s body lying on the floor of a classroom with overturned furniture and papers strewn on the bloodstained floor. He was dressed all in black, with a red swastika in a circle drawn on his T-shirt.

Police officers secure the area near the school (Reuters)

The Tass news agency quoted investigators as saying the attacker was armed with two pistols and a large supply of ammunition.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said president Vladimir Putin “deeply mourns” the deaths. He described the incident as “a terrorist act by a person who apparently belongs to a neo-fascist organisation or group”.

The school teaches children between the ages of six and 17. It has been evacuated and the area around it has been fenced off, the official said.

Police block an area as investigators and paramedics work at the scene of the shooting (AP)

Izhevsk, a city of 640,000, is located west of the Ural mountains in central Russia, about 960 kilometres (596 miles) east of Moscow.

Russia has seen several school shootings in recent years. In May 2021, a teenage gunman killed seven children and two adults in the city of Kazan. In April 2022, an armed man killed two children and a teacher at a kindergarten in the central Ulyanovsk region before committing suicide.

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