Suicide Bomber Suspected In St Petersburg Terrorist Attack
MOSCOW (Alliance News) – Russian investigators suspect a suicide bomber was responsible for the deadly explosion on an underground train in St Petersburg, the country’s top investigative agency said on Tuesday, as authorities considered possible Central Asian involvement.
A man whose fragmented remains have been found in the train’s third car could have detonated the bomb, the Investigative Committee’s spokeswoman Svetlana Petrenko said.
“His identity has been established, but the data on him have not yet been disclosed in the interests of the investigation,” Petrenko said in comments carried by state news agency TASS.
The incident, which occurred on Monday afternoon as the train was travelling between stations, is considered the deadliest ever terrorist attack in Russia’s second largest city.
Fourteen people were killed, including a man from the former Soviet republic of Kazakhstan who is being considered a suspect.
Two other foreign nationals were hit by the blast – a Belarusian and an Uzbek, Governor Georgy Poltavchenko said. All of those killed in the attack have been identified, he said.
A national of another former Soviet republic, Kyrgyzstan, which borders Kazakhstan in Central Asia, is being sought as a suspect.
Kyrgyzstan’s National Security Committee identified that suspect as Akbarzhon Jalilov, born in 1995, TASS reported.
Russian authorities said earlier that they were seeking two Central Asian nationals, a man and a woman of about 20 years old, after analysing surveillance camera video.
St Petersburg and the Russian capital, Moscow, have sizeable populations of Central Asian migrant workers who come to the country’s two largest cities for economic opportunities.
The Kremlin said foreign help might be needed in the investigation and confirmed that a suicide bomber was suspected.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov called attention to the fact that the deadly bombing occurred while President Vladimir Putin was visiting the city. He said investigators were taking that into consideration.
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko was also in the city for a meeting with Putin.
The bombing occurred around 1240 GMT while the train was travelling to the central station Tekhnologichesky Institut.
Russian authorities believe the bomb was placed under a seat on the train. Another bomb was found undetonated at a nearby station.
About 50 wounded people were still in hospital on Tuesday, Russian Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova said in comments carried by state media.
“All the patients are being treated by the best specialists,” Skvortsova told reporters.