Russian President Vladimir Putin confirmed on Monday that a terrorist attack outside Moscow that left almost 140 people dead “was committed by radical Islamists.”

Putin had previously suggested that Ukraine might have some connection with the bloody terrorist attack, without providing any evidence. Ukrainian officials have vehemently denied any connection to the attack.

In a review of the attack, Putin again on Monday claimed the suspected attackers were captured while trying to flee toward Ukraine. He claimed that it now must be clarified why the terrorists wanted to escape to Ukraine after the bloody deed – “and who was expecting them there.”

An offshoot of the Islamic State terrorist group, the Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP) which is based in Afghanistan and Pakistan, claimed responsibility for the brutal attack on the Crocus City Hall concert venue on Friday night, and published videos of the mass shooting to bolster its claim.

Putin on Monday said investigators still needed to answer several questions.

“How do radical Islamists who claim to be devout Muslims and profess so-called pure Islam come to commit serious atrocities and crimes during the holy month of Ramadan, which is sacred to all Muslims?” he asked.

It also remains to be seen “whether radical and terrorist Islamic organizations are really interested in attacking Russia, which today stands for a just solution to the escalating Middle East conflict,” he added.

Meanwhile, the confirmed death toll from the attack has risen to 139, according to Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova on Monday evening. She said that the bodies of 75 of the dead have been identified so far.

Golikova said that 93 people, including five children, are still being treated in hospital for injuries in the attack.

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