Bomb blast kills 11 in St. Petersburg, Russia; Kremlin suspects terrorism

UPDATE 2 — 4/4, 1:51 p.m. EDT: On Tuesday, Russian state investigators said a Kyrgyzstan-born suicide bomber was responsible for the Monday afternoon attack in a St. Petersburg subway that killed 14 people.

Specifically, officials revealed the perpetrator to be 22-year-old Russian citizen Akbarzhon Dzhalilov, determined by DNA evidence left on the bag of a second, unexploded bomb found at a subway station.

Independent Russian news agency Interfax reported Monday that authorities believe Dzhalilov to have been associated with Islamic extremists.

 

UPDATE — 7:49 p.m. EDT: Russian media is reporting the St. Peterburg bombing suspect has been identified as an early 20s male from central Asia, but the motive is not yet clear.

 

A nail bomb explosion rocked central St. Petersburg, Russia, Monday killing 11 and injuring over 50 mid-afternoon commuters traveling on the city’s metropolitan subway system, according to the state health ministry.

The bomb blast occurred around 2:40 p.m. St. Petersburg time as the underground train was traveling between Sennaya Ploshchad and Tekhnologichesky Institute metro stations.

Following the blast, St. Petersburg officials indefinitely suspended all underground transportation.

Russian officials say surveillance cameras captured the assailant leaving a package on the train moments before the device detonated.  Russian police later located and defused a second explosive device at a nearby station.

Angrily denouncing the attack, Russian President Vladimir Putin, who was visiting the city at the time of the explosion, told reporters:

“I have already spoken to the head of our special services, they are working to ascertain the cause of the blasts.  The causes are not clear, it’s too early. We will look at all possible causes, terrorism as well as common crime.”

(courtesy Daily Mail)

Although Russian officials did not immediately declare the attack the work of terrorism and no terror group has claimed responsibility for the blast, the Islamic State’s online forum, al-Minbar, was aflutter with praise for the bombing and voiced the attack was in response for Russian military action against Islamic State forces in Syria.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has since called the incident a “terrorist act.”

 

[BBC] [Vocativ] [CNN] [AP] [Photo courtesy Getty Images via The Sun]