A gunman has opened fire with a Kalashnikov automatic weapon at the Moscow headquarters of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), local media reported. FSB said that it had “neutralised” a shooter at its headquarters in central Moscow, Interfax news agency reported, after Izvestia newspaper reported that three had been shot dead in an attack.
Unverified videos shared on social media showed several people resembling police officers holding assault rifles running down a nearby street earlier on Thursday evening. One witness told Reuters he had seen the lifeless body of a police officer lying in the street.
At least three people are reported to have been killed, according to several media outlets. Other media spoke of two injured FSB employees.
Several people were wounded in the attack, Interfax quoted the FSB as saying. Izvestia said the incident occurred in a busy area a few minute’s walk away from the Kremlin.
Radio station Ekho Moskvy reported screaming and gunfire at Lubyanka Square, where the FSB headquarters are located.
It was unclear if there were one or more attackers involved.
Several videos shot from different vantage points showed armed men running out of the office as gunfire rang out, with some reports saying there were casualties.
Authorities have closed traffic on the Bolshaya Lubyanka street, the official Moscow traffic Twitter account said, without giving any reason.
An AFP correspondent at the scene said police have cordoned off the area of the incident and were not letting pedestrians pass, while three ambulances were going to the site.
“The shooting began around 17:40,” one witness told Reuters. “I saw a member of the traffic police running down the road, hiding behind vehicles,” the witness said.
The incident happened near the headquarters of the FSB security service, ahead of the Day of Security Service celebrated on December 20.
Earlier on Thursday, a witness told Reuters she had heard gun shots fired in the same area and a video shared on social media showed several people resembling police officers holding assault rifles running down a nearby street.