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Gunman opens fire at Russian FSB state security headquarters; lone attacker killed

Security officers stand guard on a street near the Federal Security Service, or FSB, building after a shooting incident in Moscow on Dec. 19. (Shamil Zhumatov/Reuters)
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MOSCOW — A gunman opened fire Thursday at the headquarters of Russia's FSB state security service, touching off a shootout that left the attacker and at least one FSB official dead, authorities said.

The FSB is one of the successor agencies to the KGB. At least one FSB officer died in the gun battle in the heart of Moscow, the agency said. The Health Ministry confirmed that five people were wounded in the incident.

No immediate details were made public on the gunman or possible motives.

Russian media initially cited an FSB statement saying three attackers opened fire, and all were killed. Later, the FSB said there was only one gunman.

"The FSB Public Relations Center rejects some media reports that there were three people who opened fire. . . . The gunman was alone," a statement said.

Video posted online showed pedestrians fleeing in panic and special forces personnel arriving on the scene.

The sound of gunfire sent pedestrians fleeing into the streets near the headquarters of the Federal Security Service, Russia’s intelligence agency, Dec 19. (Video: Masha Araya via Storyful)

Russian President Vladimir Putin was at a gala concert at the Kremlin to mark Russia’s Security Service Employees’ Day, which falls on Friday. Earlier, Putin held his annual news conference.

“The president was informed of that,” Russian presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov said of the attack, according to Interfax.

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