Sunday 22 April 2018

Police link explosives to metro bomber

Russian police officers secure a residential area in St. Petersburg, Russia, April 6, 2017. REUTERS/Polina Nikolskaya
Russian police officers secure a residential area in St. Petersburg, Russia, April 6, 2017. REUTERS/Polina Nikolskaya

Denis Pinchuk in Moscow

Russian authorities raided an apartment building in St Petersburg yesterday and found explosives similar to those used by a suicide bomber who blew up a metro carriage killing 14 people, two security sources said.

The discovery of the explosives raises the possibility that a string of bomb attacks was being planned in the city involving a group of plotters.

Investigators said they had detained several suspected accomplices of Akbarzhon Jalilov, born in mainly Muslim Kyrgyzstan, who is the suspected bomber in Monday's blast.

It was not immediately clear if the suspected accomplices were the same people detained at the apartment building.

Security officials searching the apartment complex where the men were detained also found an explosive device, which was made safe by bomb disposal experts.

Security sources said that the explosives discovered at the building, in the east of the city, bore similarities to a bomb which was found inside a fire extinguisher at Ploshchad Vosstaniya metro station.

That bomb did not detonate. State investigators said they believed the device had been left at the station by Jalilov before he went on to another part of the subway network and detonated a bomb he was carrying.

Russian is still reeling after the attack, which took place on the day that Russian President Vladimir Putin was visiting St Petersburg, his home city.

The attack has put renewed focus on the large number of emigrants from mostly Muslim central Asian states, who have moved to Russia to work.

Russia's state investigative committee, a body with sweeping powers that is looking into the bomber's background, said it was looking into the backgrounds of people it suspected of being accomplices.

Irish Independent

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