The Moscow concert hall attack wasn't the first during Putin's 25-year rule

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The attack on a Moscow concert hall in which armed men opened fire and set the building ablaze, killing at least 133 people, was the latest in a long series of bombings and sieges that have unsettled and outraged Russians during Vladimir Putin’s nearly quarter-century as either prime minister or president.

Save money with these awesome Insider DealsFILE - A local resident passes the apartment building destroyed the day before, by an explosion in Moscow, Friday, Sept. 10, 1999. The attack on a Moscow concert hall in which armed men opened fire and set the building ablaze, killing over 130 people, was the latest in a long series of bombings and sieges that have unsettled and outraged Russians during Vladimir Putins nearly quarter-century as either prime minister or president.

The security service later claimed it had been conducting a drill and the sacks contained harmless material. But by then, Putin had used the incident to justify launching an air assault on the Chechen capital, beginning the second full-scale war in the region.About 40 Chechen militants on Oct. 23, 2002 stormed a Moscow theater where a popular musical was underway, taking some 850 people hostage and planting explosives in the auditorium.

Two days later, a severe explosion shook the building and Russian forces rushed in. When the fighting was over, 334 civilians were dead or fatally wounded, more than half of them children, along with 31 attackers.Russia's subways, with large numbers of people in restricted spaces, were frequent targets.

 

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