A gunman has launched an attack on a school in the Russian city of Kazan that left at least nine people dead — including seven youngsters — and sent students hiding under their desks or running out of the building.
At least 21 others were admitted to hospital, six in extremely grave condition, authorities said.
The attacker, identified only as a 19-year-old, was arrested, officials said.
“I was in the classroom when a man with a firearm broke into our classroom and just started shooting,” said student Akhmat Khairulin. He said students hid under their desks at their teacher’s direction, though one jumped out of a window.
Attacks on schools are rare in Russia, and President Vladimir Putin reacted by ordering the head of the country’s National Guard to revise regulations on the types of weapons allowed for civilian use.
The teacher who died, Elvira Ignatyeva, had been an English instructor at the school for four years, the state news agency Tass reported.
Footage released by Russian media showed students dressed in black and white running out of the building. Another video depicted shattered windows, a stream of smoke coming out of one, and the sound of gunfire. Dozens of ambulances lined up at the entrance.
Russian media said while some students were able to escape, but others were trapped inside during the ordeal.
Authorities said the 21 in hospital included 18 children.
Authorities announced a day of mourning on Wednesday and cancelled all classes in Kazan schools. Authorities tightened security at all schools in the city of about 1.2 million people, 430 miles east of Moscow.
The deadliest school attack in Russia took place in 2004 in the city of Beslan, when Islamic militants took more 1,000 people hostage for several days. The siege ended in gunfire and explosions, leaving 334 dead, more than half of them children.