37 killed in Moscow blasts
PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
Moscow, Mar 29: At least 37 people were killed and 60 others wounded when two female suicide bombers blew themselves up on Moscow Metro trains in the morning rush hours today.
Though no organization claimed responsibility for the attacks, Chief of the Federal Security Service (FSB) blamed the militant groups active in Russia’s volatile North Caucasus region (Chechnya) for the deadly blasts.
The first suspected bomber wearing an explosive belt struck at the Lubyanka station under the Federal Security Service (FSB) headquarters near Kremlin, claiming 24 lives.
Forty minutes later, the second bomber hit a moving train at the Park Kultury station near the famous Gorky Park killing at least 12 people.
The second blast occurred in the third carriage of the train which had slowed down near the city centre. The Moscow subway system is one of the world’s busiest, carrying more than seven million passengers every day.
“It was the handiwork of female suicide bombers,” a spokesperson of the Emergency Ministry said.
The toll could rise as the condition of some of the wounded was stated to be critical. Emergency workers used helicopters and ambulances to rush the injured to hospitals.
The bodies of the suicide bombers were recovered from the blast sites on both the stations, according to the FSB press office.
“By the handwriting of the blasts it points to the involvement of (militant) groups active in North Caucasus,” FSB Chief Gen Alexander Bortnikov said in a televised statement at a Kremlin meeting summoned by President Dmitry Medvedev. The blast spots on Moscow metro’s oldest Red Line are junctions for transfer to other lines and are crowded at most of the time.
The authorities immediately shut down some of the main tube lines while lines to the outlying suburbs were running.
Gen Bortnikov said explosive devices with hexogen, filled with bolts were used in the attack.
According to state-run TV after the close study of CCTV footage the police launched a search for two young women, who were seen accompanying the suspected bombers at the gate of Yugo-Zapadnaya (South-West) metro station - the terminal point of the Red Line at which both the bombed stations are located.
At the emergency Kremlin meeting with the security chiefs President Medvedev ordered to tighten the security at all types of transport and vowed to continue the combat against terror groups active in Chechnya and other Caucasus regions.
“We will continue the combat to suppress terror and terrorism,” Medvedev said in his televised statement at the meeting with security chiefs.
He ordered the Interior Minister to take tough steps to ensure security but without any violations of the civil rights of the public.
Meanwhile, spokesman of the Investigation Committee Vladimir Markin said in all 36 people were killed in the terror strike - 24 at Lubyanka where the first bomb went off and 12 at Park Kultury station about 40 minutes later.
This number does not include the two suicide bombers. According to Minister for Emergency Situations Mitigation Sergei Shoigu 63 people were injured, out of which eight were in critical condition and another 30 remain serious.
Lastupdate on : Mon, 29 Mar 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 29 Mar 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 30 Mar 2010 00:00:00 IST
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