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Suicide Bomber Kills 6 in Russian Bus
The Southern Russian city of Volgograd saw destructive terror as a female suicide bomber set off a bomb in a passenger filled bus. At least six people at this time are known to be killed. According to the BBC, the female suicide bomber is thought to be from the Dagestan region of the Northern Caucasus. She was also believed by Russian officials to be the “partner of an Islamist militant.”
More than 30 people were seriously injured in the blast, which took place after 10:00 GMT. Sadly, the region has seen many attacks over the years due to an Islamist insurgency. Many civilians as well as military have been killed in the clashes that groups with differing beliefs in the region hold. The BBC notes that Chechnyan separatists have fought two wars with Russia in the past two decades, and that the violence in the region is spreading to other locales in the North Caucasus in recent years. According to BBC’s Steve Rosenberg in Moscow, “The bombing has raised fears that militant groups may be planning to step up attacks in Russia in the run-up to the Winter Olympics in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi next February.”
40 people were initially thought to be on board the bus, and as of now, all buses in Volgograd are returning to depots to be searched for bombs. One father whose daughter survived commented on Moscow Echo radio, “It was a powerful explosion – a huge blast. There were lots of students on the bus.”
A man driving his vehicle directly behind the bus told Rossiya-24 television; “There was a blast – a bang – all the glass flew out of the windows. The cloud of smoke quickly dissipated and then I saw people start to fall out and run out to escape the bus. It was a horrible sight.”
Vladamir Markin, an agent of the Russian version of the FBI, told the RIA Novosti news agency, “A criminal case has been opened under articles outlining terrorism, murder and the illegal use of firearms.” Agent Markin identified the suicide bomber-suspect as a Dagestani woman. He went on to say that the preliminary information indicates that the “self-explosion was carried out by a 30 year old Dagestani native, Naida Akhiyalova.” Passengers who had survived at the scene noticed that when the woman got onto the bus at the bus stop, the bomb immediately went off. Because hundreds of people have been killed in the region’s conflicts, President Vladimir Putin has made attempts to beef up security before 2014 Winter Olympics, opening this February in the coastal city of Sochi.
Image Credit: BBC