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Human bomb kills 18 in Russian train station

Russia blast

Regional officials said the woman set off her charge near the metal detectors stationed at the entrance to the city’s main train station while it was packed with afternoon travelers

Russia blastMoscow: In a shocking incident, 18 people were killed and dozens got injured today when a suicide bomber blew herself up in a train station in the Russian city of Volgograd ahead of February’s Olympic Games in nearby Sochi.

Regional officials said the woman set off her charge near the metal detectors stationed at the entrance to the city’s main train station while it was packed with afternoon travelers.

Footage on Russian state television showed windows blown off across the top two floors of the grey brick building and numerous ambulances gathered at the station’s front entrance amid piles of debris and snow.

“Initial indications are that the blast was set off by a female suicide bomber,” the National Anti-Terror Committee said in a statement.

Blast russiaRussia’s Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said officials had launched an inquiry into a suspected “act of terror”.

A regional government spokesman told the RIA Novosti news agency that at least 18 people were killed and more than 40 injured in the attack.

But a federal health ministry spokesman told Russian state television that the number of people wounded stood at more than 50.

The city of Volgograd — known as Stalingrad in the Soviet era — was already attacked in October by a female suicide bomber with links to Islamists fighting federal forces in Russia’s volatile North Caucasus.

The October 21 strike killed six people aboard a crowded bus and immediately raised security fears ahead of the February 4-23 Winter Games in Sochi.

The Black Sea city lies 690 kilometres southwest of Volgograd and in direct proximity to the violence ravaging North Caucasus regions such as Dagestan and Chechnya on a daily basis.

Militants are seeking to impose an Islamist state throughout Russia’s North Caucasus. Their leader Doku Umarov has ordered his footsoldiers to target civilians outside the region and disrupt the Olympic Games.

AFP

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