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Deadly shooting at Moscow security HQ

At least one person has been killed and one wounded in a shooting at the headquarters of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) in central Moscow, Russian media say.

A gunman, who opened fire with an automatic weapon in the lobby of the building, was killed by armed police.

Security forces had cordoned off the area and moved bystanders into nearby buildings during their operation.

The shooting came hours after President Putin’s annual press conference.

Details are not yet clear, but unconfirmed reports in Moscow media said that three officers had been killed as a result of an attack by three gunmen.

Two of the suspects were reportedly killed at the scene, while the third ran out into the street and barricaded himself in a nearby building.

Armed officers blocked the street next to the office of the FSB security service in Moscow, 19 December 2019Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionArmed officers ushered people into nearby buildings for their safety

At least one attacker was said to have opened fire with a Kalashnikov assault rifle, the RBC website reports.

Some footage posted on social media appeared to capture the sound of gunshots in the area while other video showed armed men running away from the FSB headquarters on Lubyanka Square.

Witnesses described seeing special forces armed with automatic weapons arriving in the area. Five ambulances were also seen leaving the scene.

One eyewitness told Reuters news agency that the shooting began at about 17:40 local time (14:40 GMT). “I saw a member of the traffic police running down the road, hiding behind vehicles,” the witness said.

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An ambulance at the site of a shooting incident near the Federal Security Service (FSB) building in Moscow, 19 December 2019Image copyrightREUTERS
Image captionWitnesses reported seeing five ambulances at the scene in the Russian capital

The attack took place on the eve of security services day – a special holiday for security staff – in Russia, and Vladimir Putin was addressing a meeting at the time to mark the occasion.

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