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Putin Vows to Annihilate “Terrorists” After Suicide Bombings

Relatives gather around the coffin of a victim of an explosion at a funeral in Volgograd

Moscow- President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday vowed to annihilate “terrorists” following two deadly bomb attacks in less than 24 hours in the southern Russian city of Volgograd that raised security fears ahead of the Winter Olympics. The uncompromising remarks in a New Year’s Eve address were Putin’s first public comments since suicide bombers killed at least 34 people in attacks on a railway station and a trolleybus on Sunday and Monday.

The bombings raised fears of further attacks before Russia hosts the Winter Olympics in less than six weeks in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, a major prestige project for Putin. “I am certain that we will fiercely and consistently continue the fight against terrorists until their complete annihilation”, Putin said, according to Russian news agencies.

“Dear friends, we bow our heads before the victims of cruel terrorist acts,” the Russian leader said on a visit to the east coast city of Khabarovsk. Putin, who first became president when his predecessor Boris Yeltsin stepped down and named him to the post exactly 14 years ago on Tuesday, has been unable to crush Islamist militants in the Muslim provinces of the North Caucasus.

Police on Tuesday detained dozens of people in sweeps through Volgograd, although there was no indication that any of them was connected to the attacks, for which nobody has claimed responsibility. (Reuters)

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