It was a well-planned terrorist act: Medvedev (Lead)

January 25th, 2011 - 1:55 pm ICT by IANS  

Moscow, Jan 25 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Russian President Dmitry Medvedev Tuesday termed the Monday’s deadly blast incident at the capital’s Domodedovo International Airport as “a well-planned terrorist act” which aimed at killing “as many people as possible”.According to preliminary reports, a suicide bomber blew himself up Monday afternoon in the airport’s crowded international arrivals hall on, killing at least 35 people and injuring up to 180.

Pledging assistance to the families of the dead and the injured people in the attack, President Medvedev announced that he would postpone his visit to the Davos Economic Forum in Switzerland where he was scheduled to make an opening address, RIA Novosti reported.

“Taking into consideration the location and other indirect indications, this was a well-planned terrorist act aimed at killing as many people as possible,” Medvedev told journalists, adding: “Medical personnel are trying to help those in need, there is a large number of injured.”

“This is a terrorist act, this is grief, this is a tragedy,” Medvedev said. “I hope law enforcement bodies are able to quickly determine the main explanation [for the terrorist act] and conduct an investigation,” the president added.

A spokesman for Russia’s national anti-terrorism committee (NAC) said earlier Tuesday that insufficient security measures in Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport were to blame for Monday’s deadly blast.

“Security measures in the Domodedovo airport were insufficient, otherwise the terrorist attack would have never taken place,” Nikolai Sintsov told the Rossiya 24 TV channel.

A law enforcement source told RIA Novosti that the security services were aware that terrorists were planning an attack on a Moscow airport, but were unable to locate and detain the three suspects they had been searching for.

The international community condemned the blast, with NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen saying he was “deeply disturbed” by the attacks.

“I strongly condemn this outrageous act of terrorism against the Russian people,” US President Barrack Obama said in a statement.

British Prime Minister David Cameroon offered the Russian authorities “complete support” and “made clear that the people of Britain stood with the people of Russia in the face of these events,” a Downing Street spokesperson said.

In August 2004, two planes, which took off from the airport, Moscow’s busiest, were blown up by female Chechen suicide bombers, killing 90 people.

–IANS/RIA Novosti
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