Terror strikes Moscow

Terror strikes Moscow

Female suicide bombers blow up metro stations, 37 killed

Terror strikes Moscow

Aftermath: Blast victims lie in a subway train hit by an explosion at Moscow’s Lubyanka station on Monday shortly after the blast. Ap/life news

The first attack occurred as commuters were exiting a packed train at a station near the headquarters of the FSB, the successor to the Soviet-era KGB. Officials said they suspected that the attack there was intended as a message to the security services, which have helped lead the crackdown on Islamic extremism in Chechnya and other parts of the Caucasus region in southern Russia.

The two explosions spread panic throughout the capital as people searched for missing relatives and friends, and the authorities tried to determine whether more attacks were planned. The subway system is one of the world’s most extensive and well-managed, and it serves as a vital artery for Moscow’s commuters, carrying as many as 10 million people a day.

“The terrorist acts A fire-fighter and Interior Ministry officers work near the entrance of the Lubyanka metro station in Moscow on Monday.Reuterswere carried out by two female terrorist bombers,” said Moscow’s mayor, Yuri M Luzhkov. “They happened at a time when there would be the maximum number of victims.”

Luzhkov said 23 people were killed in the first explosion, at the Lubyanka station, and 12 people were killed 40 minutes later at the Park Kultury station. At least two others died later. More than 100 people were injured.

There were no one immediate claims of responsibility.

Prime Minister Vladimir V Putin cut short a trip to Siberia, returning to Moscow to oversee the federal response. Putin built his reputation in part on his success at suppressing terrorism, so the attacks could be considered a challenge to his stature. Putin vowed that “the terrorists will be destroyed.”

President Dmitri A Medvedev, Putin’s protégé, was in Moscow and was briefed on the blasts by top law enforcement and security advisers. Photographs showed scenes of devastation, with bodies strewn across subway cars and station platforms.
Pavel Y Novikov, 25, an electrician, said he was evacuated from the Park Kultury station about 15 minutes after the explosion.