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Jeremy Hunt Calls For UK To 'Remain Vigilant' After Moscow Mass Shooting

Jeremy Hunt called the UK to
Jeremy Hunt called the UK to "remain vigilant" after the terror attacks in Moscow on Friday. Maja Smiejkowska - PA Images via Getty Images

Jeremy Hunt has urged the UK to “remain vigilant” after the mass shooting in Moscow, saying Britain should “absolutely” be concerned.

The Kremlin has said 133 people were killed after a massacre on Moscow on Friday, while 107 others were injured.

Militant Islamist group the Islamic State Khorasan (IS-K) has taken responsibility although Russia says it is investigating the possibility Ukraine is involved – a claim Kyiv vehemently denies.

Russian president Vladimir Putinclaims 11 people were detained after the attack, having allegedly “tried to hide and moved towards Ukraine” to cross the border. He did not mention IS in his speech.

The US has stood by Ukraine, saying there was “no Ukrainian involvement whatsoever”, and that the IS affiliate “bears sole responsibility for this attack”.

It’s worth noting that Russia intervened against the Islamic State in 2015 during Syria’s civil war.

Sky News host Trevor Phillips asked the chancellor on Sunday: “How much trust do you think we should be placing in the Russian accounts of what has happened?

“The people they have in custody they claim to be the perpetrators, they’re talking about Ukrainian involvement – how much do we believe them?”

Hunt replied: “I think we have very little confidence in anything the Russian government says.

“We know that they are creating a smokescreen of propaganda to defend an utterly evil invasion of Ukraine.

“But that doesn’t mean it’s not a tragedy when you have innocent people lose their lives, when you have horrible bombings...

“But I take what the Russian government says with an enormous pinch of salt, I’m afraid, after what we’ve seen from them only the last few years.”

Asked if other nations in Europe should be concerned, Hunt said: “Absolutely.”

However, he also pointed to the success UK intelligence agencies have had in foiling terrorist threats over recent years.

“But we have to remain vigilant,” the chancellor said.

“If it is the Islamic State, they are utterly indiscriminate in what they do, they are prepared to murder in the most horrific way, and I think that’s why our hearts go out to everyone affected by this, wherever they are in the world.

“And yes, we have to make sure we’re on our guard.”

On whether the UK’s threat level could be increased from substantial, Hunt said this is decided independently by British intelligence chiefs.

But, he added: “I know they will be looking at this kind of event.”

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