Crimea mourns school massacre victims at tearful funeral

Coat of arms at an entrance to the city of Kerch

The Investigative Committee, which probes major incidents, had initially classified the attack as an act of terror, but later said it was investigating a mass murder after "this young man shot dead people in the college and then committed suicide", adding that all victims died of gunshot wounds.

Some witnesses said more than one person was involved, with one saying a bomb with shrapnel that went off in the school lunchroom during the siege was set off by a second attacker.

Candles, flowers, icons, and toys are seen during a ceremony commemorating the people killed during an attack in the vocational college in Kerch, Crimea, Thursday, Oct. 18, 2018.

Sergei Aksyonov, the Russian-backed head of the government in Crimea, said it was impossible to conceive that 18-year-old suspect Vladislav Roslyakov had prepared the attack by himself.

Officials said the fourth-year student killed himself in the library of the Kerch Polytechnic College after the attack.

"I saw my friend Dasha get killed".

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The girl, who broke up with Roslyakov at an unspecified time before the killing, said he was a shooting enthusiast.

AFP journalists in Kerch, a city on the Crimean peninsula annexed by Russian Federation in 2014, saw the college cordoned off by Russia's National Guard, the army and the police.

"He would say that he lost trust in people when his classmates began humiliating him for not being like everyone else", a 15-year-old named as Zlata told RT television of Vladislav Roslyakov.

At least 10 of those who were wounded in a deadly shooting at a vocational school in Crimea will be airlifted to hospitals in Russian Federation, officials said.

Authorities in the city of Kerch in Russia-annexed Crimea have beefed up security in the central square, where local residents bid farewell to the victims of a shooting rampage at a technical school that claimed 21 lives.

For Kerch, a city of 150,000 inhabitants in a strategic position in the extreme east of the peninsula, annexation led to the hugely costly construction of a bridge connecting it to the Russian mainland, opened by Putin in May, which shook up the previously sleepy city and has raised new fears about security.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is now in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, said in televised comments that a "tragic event" had happened and that "as a result of an explosion of an explosive device, people died and many are injured".

Russian Federation has fairly strict gun legislation. "Young people with unstable minds create false heroes for themselves", he said.

But he also confirmed earlier reports that the teenager had acquired a gun license legally and promised a transparent investigation with "no secrets".

Aksyonov said Roslyakov had recently received a permit to own the shotgun after passing routine background checks.

"The children's muscles are all 'minced, ' basically, with small pieces of metal", Skvortsova said. "But the basic version is one Roslyakov committed a crime on their own", she said. "In those who have their organs ripped apart, we are finding metal balls in kidneys, intestines, in blood vessels".

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