A leading Russian newspaper today reported that one of the two female suicide bombers who attacked Moscow's subway was the 17-year-old widow of a slain Islamist rebel from the North Caucasus.
Russia's security chief said that unnamed militants from the volatile southern region carried out Monday's twin bombings, which killed 39 people and injured about 90.
The Kommersant reported that perpetrators came from Dagestan and Chechnya, two neighboring predominantly Muslim provinces in the North Caucasus.
Federal and local officials in Dagestan refused to comment Friday to The Associated Press on the report.
Kommersant published a photograph of a young woman dressed in a black Muslim headscarf and holding a pistol. It named her as Dzhennet Abdurakhmanova from Dagestan, the site of two subsequent suicide bombings on Wednesday that killed 12 people.
A man with his arm around her, also holding a gun, is identified as Umalat Magomedov, whom the paper describes as an Islamist militant leader killed by government forces in December.
The report, giving no sources, identified the second bomber as 20-year-old Markha Ustarkhanova from Chechnya. On Thursday it said she was the widow of a militant leader who was killed last October while preparing to assassinate Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov.
Female suicide bombers from the North Caucasus are referred to in Russia as 'black widows' because many of them are the wives, or other relatives, of militants killed by security forces.
A Chechen militant leader claimed responsibility for the bombings in Moscow.