Survivors of Russian university shooting airlifted to Moscow, Indian students safe

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Seven survivors of a shooting at a university in central Russia that left six people dead and 28 more wounded are to be airlifted to Moscow for medical treatment on Tuesday, according to a top education official.

Minister of Science and Higher Education Valery Falkov said Tuesday that the shooting at the Perm State University on Monday was a “grave tragedy” and offered condolences to the families of the victims.

“Those who survived (I wish) the speediest recovery. Today seven kids will be transported to Moscow for treatment,” Falkov said at a memorial ceremony in Perm, a city of 1 million residents located 1,100 kilometers (700 miles) east of Moscow.

The state news agency Tass reported the flight with the seven survivors on board has already departed for Moscow.

Falkov said later on Monday at a meeting with university principals that most of those hospitalized “are on the mend.”

A student opened fire at the university on Monday morning, leading other students and staff to lock themselves in rooms during the attack.

Video on Russian news sites showed some students jumping out of second-story windows.

The Investigative Committee said six people were killed and 28 people were injured.

The Health Ministry said 19 of them were shot; it was not clear how the others were injured.

According to the committee, the gunman fired a smoothbore hunting weapon.

That could indicate he used a shotgun.

A traffic police unit was the first to reach the scene and the suspect opened fire on them, according to the Interior Ministry.

He was wounded when police returned fire and then was disarmed.

The gunman also had a knife, the ministry said.

Although firearms laws are strict in Russia, many people obtain permits for hunting.

News reports cited officials as saying the suspect had a permit for a pump-action shotgun, although it was not clear if that was for the weapon used.

School shootings are infrequent in Russia, but the Perm attack was the third such shooting in recent years.

In May, a gunman opened fire at a school in the city of Kazan, killing seven students and two teachers with a registered weapon.

A student at a college in Russia-annexed Crimea killed 20 students and himself in 2018.

After the Kazan shooting, President Vladimir Putin called on the national guard to tighten gun regulations.

Russia then passed a law raising the minimum gun purchase age from 18 to 21.

All Indian students studying at Russia’s Perm medical university, where at least eight people were killed in a shooting incident on Monday, are safe, the Indian Embassy here has said.

Expressing shock at the “horrific” attack, the embassy also offered its deep condolences for the loss of lives in the shooting at the state university.

“Shocked at horrific attack at Perm State University in Russia; our deep condolences for the loss of life and best wishes for early recovery of those injured,” the Indian Embassy in Russia tweeted.

“Embassy is in touch with local authorities and representatives of Indian students. All Indian students at Perm State Medical University are safe,” it said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin deeply condoled with the relatives of the victims of Monday’s shooting at the university in Perm, the report quoted Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying.

The president was informed about what happened in Perm, at the university.

He instructed Prime Minister [Mikhail] Mishustin to send the ministers of education and health to Perm to organize assistance to the victims and relatives of those killed in the tragedy,” Peskov said.

According to the Russian Investigative Committee, a student opened fire when he entered the territory of one of the university campus buildings.

The shooter was apprehended and identified.

A criminal case was launched on the count of a murder of two or more people, Russian news agency Tass reported.

Students and staff at the varsity locked themselves in rooms during the attack while videos posted on Russian news sites showed some students jumping out of second-story windows, according to a media report.

The university, which has 12,000 students enrolled, said about 3,000 people were on the campus at the time of the attack.

The varsity is in the city of Perm, which is about 1,100 kilometers east of Moscow with a population of about 1 million, it said.

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