Woman Suicide Bomber Kills at Least 13 at Russian Station
Moscow – A female suicide bomber blew herself up in the entrance hall of a Russian train station on Sunday, killing at least 13 people in the second deadly attack in the space of three days as the country prepares to host the Winter Olympics. The state Investigative Committee said the bomber detonated her explosives in front of a metal detector just inside the main entrance of Volgograd station. Footage shown on TV showed a massive orange fireball filling the hall and smoke billowing out through shattered windows.
“People were lying on the ground, screaming and asking for help,” a witness, Alexander Koblyakov, told Rossiya-24 TV. A spokesman for Russian investigators said at least 13 people died, although the regional governor put the toll at 15. President Vladimir Putin ordered law enforcement agencies to take all necessary measures to ensure security, RIA news agency quoted his spokesman as saying. A federal police spokesman, Vladimir Kolesnikov, said security would be stepped up at train stations and airports.
Russian Heath Ministry spokesman Oleg Salagai said 42 people were wounded and that some would be flown to Moscow for treatment. Volgograd is a city of around 1 million people, about 430 miles northeast of Sochi, where the Winter Olympics – a major prestige project for Putin – will open on February 7.
Formerly known as Stalingrad, it lies close to Russia’s North Caucasus, a strip of mostly Muslim provinces plagued by near-daily violence in a long-running Islamist insurgency. Insurgent leader DokuUmarov, a Chechen warlord, urged militants in a video posted online in July to use “maximum force” to prevent Putin staging the Olympics. (Reuters)