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Six 'terrorist' recruiters detained in Russia: No proof of link to St Petersburg attack

Moscow: Russia's Investigative Committee on Wednesday said it had detained six "terrorist" recruiters from Central Asia in Saint Petersburg, but insisted there was no proof yet of a link between them and the suspected metro bomber in the city.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

The authorities said that those detained had been recruiting people to join groups including the Islamic State "to carry out terrorist crimes" and join "illegal armed groups" abroad.

On Tuesday, the death toll from the bombing in the Saint Petersburg metro blast rose to 14, authorities said.

The blast in a train carriage on the runway between the Technological Institute and Sennaya Ploshchad (Square) metro stations on Monday also left 49 persons injured in the country's second largest city, TASS news agency quoted Russian Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova as saying.

Moscow has termed the blast a "terrorist attack".

Meanwhile, metro stations in Saint Petersburg, which were closed after the attack, have began working in usual manner, TASS news agency reported.

Kyrgyzstan identified the suspect in the twin explosions as "a native of our republic", the country's National Security Committee spokesman Rakhat Sulaimanov said.

According to Sulaimanov, suspect Akbarzhon Jalilov also had Russian citizenship.

He said that Kyrgyzstan's special services were "closely working with their Russian counterparts" in investigating the explosion.

However, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Moscow was not in contact with Bishkek on the Kyrgyz native's role in the attack.

"Not through the Kremlin," Peskov told the media when asked whether Moscow had contacted Bishkek in connection with the attack.

Peskov also said Russia will continue its tough approach against terrorism.

He said Russia could turn to other countries for help in investigating the attack.

"Our investigators will make a decision. If necessary, of course, one cannot exclude the fact that Russia could resort to someone's help if it is needed in the interests of the investigation," Peskov said.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavorv on Tuesday dismissed as "vile and cynical" media reports saying the bombings were carried out as revenge for Russia's actions in Syria.

"As for ... speculation, reasoning by some media that the terrorist act is revenge against Russia for our policy in Syria is cynical, vile," Lavrov said.

Authorities in Saint Petersburg have declared three days of mourning for the victims, the BBC reported.

President Vladimir Putin, who was in the city when the blast occurred, visited the scene on Monday evening and laid flowers at a makeshift shrine.

"Certainly, we will consider all variants, common, criminal, first of all, of a terrorist nature," RT News quoted him as saying.

US president Donald Trump spoke with Putin by phone to express condolences over the deadly bombing, the Kremlin said.

According to the Kremlin, no other topics were raised during the conversation.


Updated Date: Apr 05, 2017 15:58 PM

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