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Las Vegas shooting: IS claims responsibility

| Updated: October 25, 2017 02:53:02

Photo: Reuters Photo: Reuters

The Islamic State militant group claimed responsibility for Las Vegas massacre, the deadliest mass shooting in American history.

A statement published by the group's Amaq propaganda agency claimed the attacker was a “soldier of the Islamic State”.

“The Las Vegas attacker is a soldier of the Islamic State in response to calls to target coalition countries,” it said, reports The Independent.

IS also claimed the gunman “converted to Islam several months ago”, without providing more details. Paddock's religion and lifestyle have not yet emerged elsewhere.

The wording of the release is similar to other attacks that have been inspired, rather than directed, by IS.

Paddock's alleged suicide would also differ from the actions of the vast majority of IS attackers, who seek to be "martyred" in bombings or by security forces, suggesting he had little, if any, guidance from the group.

The claim, which cannot be independently verified, came days after IS released a speech purporting to be from the group's leader.

A 46-minute audio recording appeared to show Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi praise the jihadis killed in the battle to retake Mosul and other former IS territories.

He urged followers to “intensify one attack after another against the infidels”, following a spike in global terror attacks.

Security officials and experts have long warned that IS will seek to maintain momentum and legitimacy through terror as its so-called “caliphate” dwindles in Iraq and Syria.

The shooting started shortly after 10pm local time, with footage showing concert-goers throwing themselves to the ground and running as several extended rounds of automatic gunfire rang out.

Police initially said the shooting was not being treated as a terror attack but no updated statement has been made since IS released its claim.

It came after the group claimed responsibility for a stabbing attack that left two young women dead in the French city of Marseille earlier on Sunday.

IS was also linked to a car and knife attack in Edmonton, Canada, where a police officer found a flag used by the group in the perpetrator's car.


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