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Russia to block social networking groups calling for attacks at schools

January 19, 12:57 UTC+3 MOSCOW

On January 15, two teenagers staged a knife attack at a school in Russia’s Urals city of Perm

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© Sergei Konkov/TASS

MOSCOW, January 19. /TASS/. Russia’s authorities will block social networking groups calling for knife attacks at schools on Friday after news broke that the second such incident has occurred this week and may be linked to the Blue Whale  "suicide game."

Russian Deputy Communications Minister Alexey Volin told TASS that these social networking groups encourage mass anti-social behavior and "in fact incite students to commit suicide."

"There is no doubt that they will be blocked like the Blue Whale game."

The groups will be shut down by joint efforts of the Ministry of Communications and Mass Media, Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media and social networks’ administrators, Volin said.

Russian Presidential Envoy to the Siberian Federal District Sergey Menyailo earlier told TASS that according to preliminary information the teenager who attacked the school in Siberia’s Buryatia was a member of a closed social networking group and could be linked to the attackers of schools in other regions.

The envoy compared the incident in Buryatia with the Blue Whale game that incites young people to kill themselves. The game was popular among Russian teenagers last year.

Early on January 19, a 9th grade student of a school in the Sosnovy Bor village, near Ulan-Ude, the capital of Siberia’s Buryatia republic, attacked students with an axe and then set the school on fire with an incendiary bottle. Seven people - six students and one teacher - were injured and hospitalized. The attacker was rushed to hospital under police escort and a criminal investigation has been launched.

On January 15, two teenagers staged a knife attack at a school in Russia’s Urals city of Perm. They came to the building bearing knives, entered a room where junior students were having a class and deliberately stabbed 12 children and their teacher. The attackers also wounded each other and were taken to hospital. They later tried to commit suicide but both are alive now.

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