Terror in Moscow Metro: 37 killed in twin bombings (Fourth Lead))March 29th, 2010 - 6:29 pm ICT by IANS
Moscow, March 29 (IANS) At least 37 people were killed and 65 injured Monday when women suicide bombers struck two metro stations in this Russian capital within 40 minutes of each other during peak rush hour.
The first blast took place at 7.52 a.m. at the Lubyanka station close to the Federal Security Service (FSB) headquarters, killing at least 23 people, RIA Novosti reported.
Even before the injured could be rescued, a second bombing ripped through the nearby Park Kultury station about 40 minutes later. The station is within walking distance of the Kremlin.
The attacks spread panic in the area as wounded metro passengers stumbled out of the station. Most of the metro passengers were rushing to work on the first day of the week when the bombings left them dazed and stunned.
Hundreds of rescue workers reached the two sites of the blasts, considered to be the worst terror attack since 2004 when a bomber killed 41 people.
The FSB said Monday’s attacks were carried out by female suicide bombers.
Russian Emergency Service chief Irina Andianova confirmed that at least 37 people have been killed and 65 injured in the Moscow subway blasts early Monday.
Initial investigations indicated that the explosive devices weighed 1.5 kg and three kg respectively, DPA said.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev ordered tight security across the country after the Monday morning terror.
“It is difficult to prevent such terrorist attacks and to provide security on transport,” the president said.
“It is necessary to tighten what we do, to look at the problem on a national scale, not only relating to a certain populated area but on a national scale. Obviously, what we have done before is not enough.”
The blasts led dozens of Moscow residents and visitors to seek medical help following nervous breakdowns and heart attacks, a hospital source said.
Many people suffered nervous breakdowns after the attacks.
The source said that “some 50 people turned to doctors for medical help” after they witnessed the blasts.
Russia’s top investigator Vladimir Markin was quoted by RIA Novosti as saying that investigation had been launched on terrorism charges and that suicide bombers were suspected of having detonated the devices.
A police source said the bomb at the Park Kultury station was detonated at a height of 100-120 cm.
Police with sniffer dogs inspected other stations as the capital remains on high alert. Security has been tightened at the capital’s train terminals and airports.
Federal Security Service chief Alexander Bortnikov said: “According to preliminary information, these terrorist acts were committed by terrorist groups related to the North Caucasus region. We’ll consider it as the basic version because the bodies of two female suicide bombers who were residing in the North Caucasus have been found (at the explosion sites).”
Bortnikov also said work was under way to define the group of people involved in carrying out the bomb attacks.
There was strong condemnation of the terror strike.
India underlined its solidarity with Russia in combating terrorism and hoped the terrorists would be brought to justice soon.
In a letter to Medvedev, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said: “It is with great anguish that I have learnt of the bomb blasts in Moscow, which have led to the loss of so many innocent lives.”
Describing the blasts as “a most tragic and horrific act of violence”, Manmohan Singh said: “At this difficult hour our thoughts are with you, the people of Russia and the families and friends of the victims of this terrible tragedy.
“On behalf of the government and people of India, I convey our deepest condolences. I wish to assure you that India stands united with Russia in combating the forces of violence and terrorism.”
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Tags: dmitry medvedev, federal security service, female suicide bombers, first day of the week, hospital source, initial investigations, lubyanka, metro stations, moscow metro, moscow residents, moscow subway, nearby park, nervous breakdowns, peak rush, russian capital, service chief, terror attack, terror in moscow, twin bombings, women suicide bombers