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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 19 November 2018

Gunman kills teenagers with bullets and bombs in Crimea 

At least 17 people, mainly teenagers, were killed in the school attack

An explosive device has killed several people and injured at least 50 others at a vocational college in Crimea Wednesday in what Russian officials have called a possible terrorist attack. Kerch FM via AP
An explosive device has killed several people and injured at least 50 others at a vocational college in Crimea Wednesday in what Russian officials have called a possible terrorist attack. Kerch FM via AP

At least 17 teenagers have been killed by an 18-year-old gunman who apparently later killed himself in a school in Russian-annexed Crimea.

The head of the college where the incident took place revealed how she had seen an armed man burst into the main building, let off explosives and start shooting anyone in his path.

Olga Grebennikova told Crimean television she and other witnesses saw bodies everywhere after the man started opened fire indiscriminately.

Teenagers and staff were among the dead, the teacher added, and at least 50 people were injured in the attack.

Crimea's regional leader Sergei Aksyonov initially said the perpetrator was a 22-year-old student in the school who lives in Kerch and shot himself afterwards.

Investigators, however, later identified the attacker as 18-year-old Vladislav Roslyakov, a fourth-year whose body was found "with a gunshot wound" on the premises.

The nature of the assault remained unclear after Russia's National Anti-Terrorism Committee said an "unidentified explosive device" had gone off.

Reports suggest the explosives contained metal and the blast was caused by a device placed in the cafeteria of the college.

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said four military planes were ready to evacuate casualties for medical treatment and that space in military hospitals was available for the victims.

Footage published by local media showed armoured personnel carriers near the college in Kerch, and schools and kindergartens in the area are being evacuated.

Witnesses to the melee revealed what they had seen to local reporters.

"A strong explosion went off, but thank God, I was already outside and saw our guys being thrown out of the windows by the explosive wave," said one student.

"There's a lot of them, the ambulances did not have enough stretchers," he said, adding that more bodies could be buried under the rubble from a part of the building that collapsed.

Another student, Semyon Gavrilov, told the Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper that he saw "a young man with a gun walking around shooting everybody", and how he himself had survived by hiding in a classroom.

"After 10 minutes police with automatic rifles arrived," he added.

"I don't know what happened to the shooter."

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