A gunman killed 17 people and wounded 24 others when he opened fire at a school in central Russia before turning the gun on himself, authorities said.
The shooting happened Monday at School No. 88 in Izhevsk, Udmurtia region, 960 kilometers (600 miles) east of Moscow.
Russia’s Investigative Committee identified the gunman as Artyom Kazantsev, 34, a graduate of the same school, and said he was wearing a black T-shirt with “Nazi symbols.” No details about his motives have been released.
The government of Udmurtia said that 17 people, including 11 children, were killed in the firing. Russia’s Investigative Committee said 24 people, including 22 children, were injured in the attack.
Umurtia Governor Alexander Brechalov said the gunman, who said he was registered as a patient at a mental health facility, killed himself after the attack.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday condemned the Izhevsk attack as “inhumane”.
“President Putin is deeply saddened by the death of people and children at a school where a terrorist attack by a member of a neo-fascist group took place,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
“The president wishes for the recovery of those injured as a result of this inhuman terrorist attack,” Peskov added.
Russia’s National Guard said Kazantsev used two non-lethal handguns suitable for firing live ammunition. The firearms are not registered with the authorities. A criminal investigation has been launched into the incident with charges of multiple murders and illegal possession of firearms.
The school, which teaches children between the ages of six and 17, was evacuated and the premises cordoned off.
Izhevsk is a city of approximately 640,000 people located west of the Ural Mountains in central Russia.
The attack comes at a critical time for Russia, which is waging a deadly war in Ukraine.
Hours before the school shooting, a man opened fire at an enlistment center in Siberia, wounding a military recruitment officer.
“Any shooting at a school is a cause of deep concern for authorities, families and the nation at large. We saw that in the United States and many other countries,” Al Jazeera’s Mohammad Wall reported from Moscow.
“But the Russians say it’s not a regular occurrence in Russia — and often it’s hard to establish the motives behind it.”
The last tragedy was in April 2022 when a man committed suicide at a kindergarten in the central Ulyanovsk region, killing two children and a teacher.
In May 2021, a teenager opened fire in the southwestern Russian city of Kazan, killing nine people, including seven children.
In 2018, a student at a college in Crimea, which is part of Russia, turned a gun on himself and killed 20 people.
There have been other high-profile shootings in Russia’s military that have drawn attention to the issue of hazing in a country where military service is mandatory for men between the ages of 18 and 27.
In November 2020, a 20-year-old soldier killed three fellow soldiers at a military base near the city of Voronezh. In a similar attack in 2019, a young recruit shot dead eight soldiers, saying he faced threats and harassment in the army.