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|Subject: At least 35 killed in suicide blast at Moscow airport Tue Jan 25, 2011 8:38 am|| |
At least 35 killed in suicide blast at Moscow airport
Update at 3:58 p.m. ET: USA TODAY's Anna G. Arutunyan writes from Moscow that mounting evidence pointed to the restive North Caucasus republics as the likeliest origin of the Domodedovo airport suicide bombing.
The state-run RIA Novosti news agency says the that 35 people died and that 76 people remained hospitalized, many in grave condition. Two British citizens reportedly were among the dead. The Associated Press says 180 were wounded.
Within a half-hour of the blast, planes from London, Brussels,Greece, Ukraine and Egypt had landed.
Law enforcement officials told RIA Novosti that the force of the blast was equal to 5 kg of TNT and that the bomb was packed with metal objects to cause maximum damage.
The suicide bomber was driven to the airport and dropped off in the parking area and apparently got inside through entrances that did not have metal detectors.
Security officials had been tipped to that attack yesterday and were looking for three suspects who entered the airport to ensure their accomplice succeeded and then left, another law enforcement source told the news agency.
Carnegie expert Alexei Malashenko suggested the bombing may also be retaliation for the nationalist riots that gripped Moscow in December. Thousands of soccer fans rallied near the Kremlin and randomly attacked migrants in the streets over the Dec. 6 shooting death of a fan.
The attack seemed aimed at embarassing Russian Prime Minister Vladmir Putin, Thomas Sanderson, deputy director of the Transnational Threats Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told USA TODAY's Tom Vanden Brook.
In recent years Russia has succeeded in its bid for high-profile international events such as the the 2014 Winter Olypmics and the 2018 World Cup for soccer. The attack was designed to show that Russia is not capable of providing adequate security, Sanderson said.
"They are clearly trying to create a sense of fear," Sanderson said. "This is very personal. They're hitting Russians in Moscow."
Update at 12:22 p.m. ET: A suicide bombing carrying a suitcase set off a huge blast at Moscow's busiest airport today killing at 31 people dead and injuring more than 100, the Associated Press reports.
The final death toll remains unclear. A spokesperson for Domodedovo airport earlier put the death toll at 35, but the Emergencies Ministry says 31 people were killed.
Two Britons were among the dead, according to Vladimir Markin, spokesman for the Russian Investigative Committee, the AP reports.
The AP quotes one witness as saying he saw a man who may have been the bomber.
"I saw the suitcase, the suitcase was on fire," said Artyom Zhilenkov, a 35-year-old driver. "So, either the man blew up something, or something went off on the man's body, or the suitcase went off."
Update at 12:22 a.m. ET: At least 31 people have been killed by an explosion at the international arrivals hall of Moscow's busiest airport, a spokesman for Moscow Domodedovo Airport tells Russia's NTV television, according to the Associated Press. RIA Novosti news agency says the explosion may have been triggered by a suicide bomber.
By Ivan Sekretarev, AP
"From the preliminary information we have, it was a terror attack," President Dmitry Medvedev told officials in a televised briefing.
Medvedev said in a live TV broadcast that he has ordered key ministries to take special security measures at other airports and transport hubs. He has also postponed a trip to the economic meeting in Davis, Switzerland.
Interfax news reports that the bomb went off near the airport's Asia Cafe.
Earlier posting: An apparent suicide bombing at Moscow's busiest airport has killed at least 31 people, according to the Russian Health Ministry.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, in a live TV broadcast, said he has ordered the transportation and interior ministers to take special security measures at all Moscow airports and other transport hubs, RT news reports.
Earlier postings: The Russian Investigative Committee considers the deadly explosion at Domodedovo Airport to be an act of terror and has opened a criminal case in the matter, Vladimir Markin of the Investigative Committee tells Interfax.
RT, which has video of the immediate aftermath of the blast, says at least 130 people have been injured at Domodedovo Airport in what the Russian Investigative Committee believes to be a terror attack.
Update at 9:35 a.m. ET: At least 23 people have been killed and 130 injured in an apparent suicide bombing at a Moscow airport, the Russian media reports, according to the Associated Press.
Earlier posting: At least 10 people have been killed and scores injured in an apparent suicide bombing at Moscow's Domodedovo Airport, the Russian media report.
The Interfax News Agency, quoting unidentified medical sources, says at least 10 people were killed. It quotes the Russian Investigative Committee as saying at least 20 people were injured in the explosion at Russia's busiest airport.
Interfax says the explosion occurred in the airport luggage area of international arrivals.
Russia Today says Moscow police have been put on alert for possible terror attacks in the capital.
RT also reports that international flights are being redirected to other Moscow area airports.
It says more than 20 emergency teams are already on the scene at the airport about 25 miles southeast of Moscow and that hospitals have put 170 places on standby to handle the injured.
(The above incorporates earlier posting)