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37 killed as female suicide bombers blast Mosco Metro

Courtesy BBC NEWS
At least 37 people have been killed after two female suicide bombers blew themselves up on Moscow Metro trains in the morning rush hour, officials say.

Twenty-four died in the first blast at 0756 (0356 GMT) as a train stood at the central Lubyanka station, beneath the offices of the FSB intelligence agency.

About 40 minutes later, a second explosion ripped through a train at Park Kultury, leaving another 13 dead.

The FSB said it was likely a group from the North Caucasus was responsible.

No group has yet said it carried out the attacks, but past suicide bombings in the capital have been carried out by or blamed on Islamist rebels fighting for independence in Chechnya.

In February, Chechen rebel leader Doku Umarov said “the zone of military operations will be extended to the territory of Russia… the war is coming to their cities”.

At an emergency meeting with senior officials, President Dmitry Medvedev vowed to uphold the “policy of suppressing terror and the fight against terrorism”.

“We will continue operations against terrorists without compromises and to the end,” he said.

Federal security forces have scored a series of successes against militants in the North Caucasus in recent weeks. In February, at least 20 insurgents were killed in an operation by troops in Ingushetia.

‘Panic’

Emergency services ministry spokeswoman Irina Andrianova said the first explosion tore through the second carriage of a train as it stood at Lubyanka at the peak of the rush hour.

Outside Lubyanka Station, traffic has been restored, but Lubyanka Square remains closed to pedestrians – there are only police, officials and journalists. There are reports of informal taxis charging thousands of roubles – up to 4,000 roubles (£90) – for a fare that would normally cost 150 roubles (£3.40) – to get people to where they want.

Following news of the attacks, some people went back home, but many still came in to work using the rest of the Metro network, which is almost impossible to close down because it is so big and so heavily used.

The station, on both the busy Sokolnicheskaya and Tagansko-Krasnopresnenskaya lines, lies beneath the headquarters of the Federal Security Service (FSB).

More than 100 people were injured in the two attacks, 30 of them badly, officials said.

In a meeting with President Medvedev, FSB chief Alexander Bortnikov said its investigators believed the attacks had been carried out by “terrorist groups related to the North Caucasus”.
Courttesy BBC


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