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Shooting at university in Russia kills at least six

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Russia's Investigative Committee said the attacker had been identified as a student at the university. AFP

Shooting at university in Russia kills at least six

A gunman killed six people on a university campus in Russia on September 20 before being detained, investigators said, leaving students and teachers shaken and terrified.

It was the second mass shooting in Russia this year to target students and came amid calls for stricter controls on access to firearms.

Video on social media showed students throwing belongings from the windows of university buildings in the city of Perm, around 1,300km east of Moscow, before jumping to flee the shooter.

Witnesses described scenes of panic at Perm State University, saying the city of around one million people was left in shock by the tragedy.

State media broadcast amateur footage reportedly taken during the attack showing an individual dressed in black tactical clothing, including a helmet, carrying a weapon and walking through the campus.

The gunman, identified as a student at the university, carried out the shooting with a hunting rifle he purchased this year, according to Russia’s Investigative Committee.

The committee, which probes major crimes in Russia, said 28 people were being treated after the attack.

“Some of them have been hospitalised with injuries of varying severity,” it said in a statement.

According to unconfirmed reports, five women and one man were killed in the shooting. Among them was a student, who wanted to become a maths teacher, and a 66-year-old retired doctor, who was visiting the university with her grandson.

Investigators said the gunman resisted arrest and was wounded before being taken to a medical facility.

Junior police lieutenant Konstantin Kalinin said he had to shoot the attacker after the man trained a rifle on him. “After that I gave him first aid,” the policeman said in remarks released by the interior ministry.

The health ministry said 19 among the wounded were being treated for gunshots.

President Vladimir Putin said the deaths amounted to “a great loss, not only for the families who lost their children but for the whole country”.

“No words can silence the grief or pain of this loss, especially since we are talking about young people just at the beginning of their lives,” he said.

School shootings are relatively unusual in Russia due to tight security at education facilities and because it is difficult to buy firearms.

Authorities have blamed foreign influence for previous school shootings, saying young Russians have been exposed online and on television to similar attacks in the US and elsewhere.

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