MOSCOW (Reuters) – A suicide bomber blew himself up on Tuesday in the Russian capital of St. Petersburg, where he was killed after a bomb blast killed 11 people and wounded a suicide bomber in Kyrgyzstan.
The attack occurred Monday afternoon in a vehicle traveling between two stations on the line crossing the center of the city and killed 11 people and 34 injured according to the latest toll, while the Bishkek authorities revealed that the suicide bomber of its nationals.
The Russian commission of inquiry has immediately launched an investigation into a “terrorist act,” saying that “all other possibilities” will be studied.
On Monday evening, Russian President Vladimir Putin set up a bouquet of red flowers at the station where the blast took place. He had previously held a meeting with intelligence and ambulance representatives and the interior ministry.
The authorities of Kyrgyzstan, the former Soviet republic, said Tuesday that a suicide bomber had carried out the attack, saying he was born in the Osh region, where a large number of young men have gone to join the ranks of the Islamic state.
“The suicide bomber at St. Petersburg is a citizen of Kyrgyzstan, Akbaryon Jalilov, born in 1995,” a spokesman for the security services in Kyrgyzstan, Rakhat Solimanov, told AFP. “He is likely to have Russian citizenship.”
The spokesman said his country’s equipment was in close contact with its Russian counterparts.
Russian authorities have not yet confirmed this information.
Kyrgyzstan’s interior ministry says about 600 of its nationals have joined jihadists in Iraq and Syria, especially the Islamic state.
The attack, which no one has claimed responsibility for, comes as the Organization of the Islamic State called on Russia to attack Russia in response to its intervention in support of the Syrian regime in late September 2015.
The Russian intelligence service said the blast took place Monday afternoon in a vehicle traveling between two stations on a line crossing the city center between Sinaina Blochetad and Technotechnie Institute. The pictures, published on social media and broadcast by Russian television stations, showed a vehicle after the explosion and passengers trying to remove the wounded from the rubble.
– “Awful attack” –
After the trauma of the attack, life began to return somewhat to the neighborhood where it occurred, but the events of the previous day are still in mind with the declaration of mourning in the second city of Russia.
“Of course everyone in the metro thinks only about this,” says Svetlana Golubiva, 45, “but it’s not a good thing, but I’m especially afraid of my children when they ride the subway on their own.” The police and the Moscow metro were also seen to be strengthened.
The latest attack against Russia was when a plane crashed in the air on October 31, 2015 during a trip to Egypt and Russia carrying 224 people. The Islamic State Organization claimed responsibility for the attack.
Since then, there have been several attacks in Russian republics in Chechnya, and Russian security services have repeatedly announced the dismantling of jihadi cells that were planning attacks in Moscow and St. Petersburg.
Authorities also announced the strengthening of security measures in the Moscow metro and airports.
EU Secretary of State Federica Mujerini expressed her condolences to “all the Russians, especially those who lost their relatives.” French President Francois Hollande expressed “solidarity with the Russian people” while German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed “shock” at the “atrocity”.
The UN Security Council strongly condemned the “brutal and cowardly terrorist attack.”
US President Donald Trump also condemned the attack as “very shocking.” “The two leaders agreed that terrorism must be defeated in a final and rapid manner,” Trump said in a telephone interview.
For its part, condemned the Iraqi government aggression and expressed solidarity with the Russian government and people “in the face of black terrorism.”