x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Female suicide bombers hit Moscow metro

Explosions detonated by two female suicide bombers have killed at least 37 people and injured 33 on two packed Moscow metro trains.

A police officer stops a car as Emergency Minisrty officers and firefighters carry a body to an ambulance car in downtown Moscow.
A police officer stops a car as Emergency Minisrty officers and firefighters carry a body to an ambulance car in downtown Moscow.

Explosions detonated by two female suicide bombers killed at least 37 people and injured 33 on two packed Moscow metro trains in the morning rush hour, officials said. It was the worst attack in the Russian capital for six years. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the blasts but suspicion fell on groups from Russia's North Caucasus, where the Kremlin is fighting a growing Islamist insurgency. The first blast just before 8am (4am GMT) tore through the second carriage of a train as it stood at the Lubyanka metro station, close to the headquarters of Russia's main domestic security service FSB. It killed at least 23 people.

Another blast about 40 minutes later wrecked the second carriage of a train waiting at the Park Kultury metro station, killing 14 more people. "Two female terrorist suicide bombers carried out these bombings," the Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov told reporters at Park Kultury metro station. Surveillance camera footage posted on the Internet showed bodies lying in Lubyanka station lobby and emergency workers treating victims. By 7.22am GMT, the rouble was 7 kopecks down at 34.20 versus the euro-dollar basket RUS=MCX after falling to its lowest level since March 10 of 34.43 at the market opening, according to Reuters data. The Russian stock markets were unfazed, however, edging up in early trade. "It is a psychological moment. The sentiment is very bad, a lot of uncertainty. The market was overshort (in foreign currencies) so the reaction is explainable," said a dealer at a major Russian bank in Moscow. Russian prosecutors said they had opened an investigation. The Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin was being updated regularly on developments, a spokesman said. The current death toll makes it the worst attack on Moscow since February 2004, when a suicide bombing killed at least 39 people and wounded more than 100 on a metro train. Chechen separatists were blamed for that attack. *Reuters