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Russia campus shooting leaves 8 dead

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Students evacuate a building of the Perm university campus in Perm on September 20, 2021 following a shooting. (Photo by AFP)

A gunman has opened fire on a Russian university campus, killing at least eight people in the country's second mass shooting this year to target students.

Videos circulating on social media showed people throwing belongings from windows of university buildings in the central city of Perm before jumping to flee the shooter on Monday.

The Investigative Committee, which probes major crimes, said several people were injured in the attack at Perm State National Research University and that the suspect, a student at the university, had been wounded while being detained.

State media broadcast amateur footage reportedly taken during the attack showing an individual dressed in black tactical clothing, including a helmet, carrying a weapon and walking through the campus.

In a statement carried by Russian news agencies, the health ministry said 24 people were receiving treatment, including 19 who had received gunshot wounds.

"On September 20, a student, who was on the territory of one of the buildings of Perm State National Research University, opened fire on those around him," the Investigative Committee said in a statement.

School shootings are relatively unusual in Russia due to tight security at education facilities and because it is difficult to buy firearms legally, although it is possible to register hunting rifles.

This undated handout photograph released by the Governor and Government of the Perm Territory site on September 20, 2021, shows the aerial view of a university campus in Perm. (Photo by AFP)

Putin offers condolences

President Vladimir Putin had been notified of the shooting, the Kremlin said, adding that the health and science ministers had been ordered to travel to Perm to coordinate assistance for the victims.

"The president expresses sincere condolences to those who have lost family and loved ones as a result of this incident," Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

Regional authorities said that classes at local schools, colleges and universities were canceled on Monday.

Russia's last deadly attack at an educational facility took place in May 2021, when a 19-year-old opened fire in his old school in the central city of Kazan, killing nine people.

Investigators said that the gunman suffered from a brain disorder. But he was deemed fit to receive a license for the semi-automatic shotgun he used in the attack.

On the day of that attack -- one of the worst in recent Russian history -- Putin called for a review of gun control laws.

In November 2019, a 19-year-old student in the far eastern town of Blagoveshchensk opened fire at his college, killing one classmate and injuring three other people before shooting and killing himself.

In October 2018, another teenage gunman killed 20 people at a Kerch technical college in Crimea.

He was shown in camera footage wearing a similar T-shirt to Eric Harris, one of the killers in the 1999 Columbine High School shooting in the United States, which left 13 people dead.

The country's FSB security service says it has prevented dozens of armed attacks on schools in recent years.

(Source: AFP)


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