ST. PETERSBURG, Russia: The intelligence agency in the former Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan on Tuesday identified a suspect behind Monday’s deadly bombing on the St. Petersburg subway as a Kyrgyz-born Russian citizen.
A bomb blast tore through a subway train under Russia’s second-largest city on Monday, killing 11 people and wounding more than 40. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which came while President Vladimir Putin was visiting the city, his hometown.
Kyrgyzstan’s State Committee for National Security said in a statement on Tuesday that the man behind the bombing is a Kyrgyz-born Russian national. The intelligence agency said it is cooperating with Russian authorities to help the investigation.
In the past two decades, Russian trains and planes have been frequent targets of attack, usually blamed on Islamic militants.
Neither authorities in Russia nor in Kyrgyzstan have specified whether the attack was a suicide bombing or whether the bomber got away. The Interfax news agency on Monday said authorities believe the suspect, a 23-year old who came from ex-Soviet Central Asia and was linked to radical Islamic groups, carried the explosive device onto the train in a rucksack.
Within two hours of the blast, authorities had found and deactivated another bomb at another busy station, the anti-terror agency said. That station is a major transfer point for passengers on two lines and serves the railway station to Moscow.
The entire St. Petersburg subway system was shut down and evacuated, but partial service resumed after about six hours.
Vasilyeva reported from Moscow. Leila Saralayeva contributed to this report from Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.