Eighteen people killed in armed attack on Crimean college

Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov said Putin has instructed investigators and intelligence agencies to conduct a thorough inquiry and offered condolences to families of the victims.

The committee's spokeswoman, Svetlana Petrenko, said 13 people were killed and about 50 were injured.

The Reuters news agency said Olga Grebennikova, the college's director, had told Crimean news outlets that gunmen entered the building and deliberately fired on students and blew up explosive devices.

This is a developing story.

Some earlier reports had quoted officials saying it was a gas explosion, but a spokeswoman for the regional gas-distribution company said it had no contract to supply gas to the college.

Sergei Aksyonov, the head of the Russian-backed administration in Crimea, a region Moscow annexed from Ukraine four years ago, said the main suspect was a male student a the college and that he had killed himself.

Video footage from the scene showed armoured personnel carriers and military tucks lined up on the approach to the college, in the Crimean city of Kerch.

Dramatic photos published by local media show the windows on the ground floor of the two-storey building have been shattered, with debris scattered across the floor.

"At the moment, there are 13 dead and about 50 wounded, a lot of them teenagers".

Ambulances and fire fighters were at the scene.

At least 17 people were killed and 40 others were injured on Wednesday at a vocational college in Crimea.

Russian Federation annexed the peninsula in March 2014, after a referendum in which the population of Crimea chose to become part of Russian Federation.

Kerch is the site of the western end of a newly built bridge linking Russian Federation to Crimea, which it took over by force after Moscow-friendly Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych was pushed from power by pro-European protests in Kyiv.

  • Rogelio Becker