St Petersburg metro explosion in Russia staged by Kyrgyz suicide bomber, claims Kyrgyzstan

The intelligence agency in the former Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan says Akbarzhon Jalilov, the man behind Monday's deadly bombing on the St Petersburg subway, is a Kyrgyz-born Russian citizen.

A bomb blast tore through a subway train under Russia's second-largest city on Monday, killing 11 people and wounding more than 40. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which came while President Vladimir Putin was visiting the city, his hometown.

Kyrgyzstan's State Committee for National Security said in a statement on Tuesday that Jalilov is a Kyrgyz-born Russian national. The intelligence agency said it is cooperating with Russian authorities to help the investigation.

It is unclear whether the attack was a suicide bombing or whether the bomber got away.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which came while President Vladimir Putin was visiting the city, his hometown. In the past two decades, Russian trains and planes have been frequent targets of terrorism, usually blamed on Islamic militants.

News reports initially said police were searching for two suspects, and Russian state television showed a photo of one suspect wearing what appeared to be a skullcap characteristic of Russia's Muslim regions. However, the Interfax news agency later cited unspecified sources as saying police now suspect the blast was the work of a suicide bomber linked to radical Islamists.

The National Anti-Terrorism Committee said it was looking for the "perpetrators and organizers of the terror attack."

St. Petersburg, a major tourist destination famed for its imperial palaces and lavish art museums, had been spared previous attacks.

"From now on, I will be scared to take the subway," said Marina Ilyina, 30, who brought flowers to the station where the train stopped after the bombing. "We in St. Petersburg thought we wouldn't be touched by that."

The explosion occurred in mid-afternoon as the train traveled between stations on one of the city's north-south lines.

With inputs from agencies


Updated Date: Apr 04, 2017 13:43 PM

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