Moscow schoolboys 'saved over 100' from Crocus City Hall attack

Moscow schoolboys 'saved over 100' from Crocus City Hall attack
Two schoolboys, Islam Khalilov, 15, and Artyom Donskoy, 14, have both been rewarded for saving "over 100" people during the Crocus City attack.
2 min read
26 March, 2024
Over 130 have been killed and over 100 injured after as many as five gunmen opened fire at concertgoers in the Crocus City Hall in Moscow [GETTY]

Russian schoolboys Islam Khalilov, 15, and Artyom Donskoy, 14, have been praised for saving scores of people from the Crocus City Hall attack in Moscow last week.

When the attack began, the students were working as cloakroom attendants. Along with other employees, they directed people towards the exits and away from dead ends.

Khalilov filmed himself running towards the scene of the attack and directing people towards the exits, while Donskoy was seen escorting another group out of the burning building.

Islam recalled to Russian radio that he was "very scared" but wanted to make sure no one was left behind before fleeing the scene himself.

Donskoy recalled how they found themselves at a dead end and decided to direct others towards the right direction.

"The guys and I saw this and decided to take everything into our own hands, we turned the people around and led them in the right direction," Donskoy said

"Just there, an emergency exit was opened, and everyone went through it. My colleagues and I tried to make sure that all the people got out and evacuated and that we didn't leave anyone behind," adding that they were the last to leave as a result.

Russia honoured the teenagers with bravery awards on Monday in a ceremony officiated by Russia's commissioner for children's rights. They were also rewarded with new laptops and certificates from their school.

According to Russian state news agency TASS, Islam will also receive an award from the Spiritual Assembly of Muslims in Russia. Russian rapper Morgenshtern has also said he would send the teenager a million roubles ($11,000).

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Over 130 people were killed and over 100 injured when as many as five gunmen armed with automatic weapons shot at concertgoers in the Crocus City Hall – the deadliest attack in Russia for two decades.

The gunmen, reportedly dressed in camouflage uniforms, entered the building, opened fire and threw a grenade or incendiary bomb, according to a journalist for the RIA Novosti news agency at the scene.

The Islamic State group's Afghan offshoot, known as ISKP or ISIS-K, claimed responsibility for the attack through the group's Amaq news agency.

While The United States and France say intelligence suggests the group was behind the attack, Russian officials have accused Ukraine and its Western allies of being behind the attack.