The Moscow massacre:

Briton among dozens killed in airport suicide attack



A suicide bomber blew himself up inside the arrivals hall of Moscow’s busiest airport yesterday, as terror once again struck in the heart of Russia.

The attack killed at least 35 people and injured around 170. There was at least one British victim among the dead.

Witnesses at Domodedovo airport said that the bomber shouted: "I will kill you all," before triggering the blast that sent ball-bearings and shrapnel across the international arrivals hall at around 4.30pm local time (1.30pm GMT), shortly after two flights from the UK had landed.

Dmitry Medvedev, the Russian President, promised to track down those responsible for the blast. There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but suspicion fell on militants from the North Caucasus, where the Russian authorities are engaged in a battle with Islamic militants.

The Foreign Office this morning confirmed that Gordon Cousland, a British citizen, had died in the attacks. They were said to be “urgently investigating” reports of a second British victim. The Russian authorities said there had been two Britons killed in the blast.

British Airways and BMI use the airport and both had flights landing within an hour of the blast. Witnesses spoke of an all-engulfing pall of smoke, which broke to reveal a horrific scene.

“It was a huge sound, and suddenly I could see bodies everywhere. I don’t know how many. Maybe 10, maybe 20,” said Alexei Spiridonov, an airport worker who was just a few dozen metres away from the blast. “It was about a minute and a half before people started running in to help.”

Photographs taken in the immediate aftermath of the blast and posted onTwitter showed bodies and severed limbs strewn across the floor, as well as pools of blood and small burning fires. Within a couple of minutes, the airport medical and police teams were on hand, some using baggage trolleys to wheel out the injured. Later, dozens of ambulances ferried them to hospitals across Moscow.

“Everyone around me died,” said Artyom Zhilenkov, 30, a driver who was waiting for an arriving passenger from Dusseldorf. His clothes were caked with dried mud and blood. “The guy standing next to me was torn to pieces,” he told The Independent.He attributed his survival to dunking himself in icy water last week in an Orthodox Christian ritual, but admitted to being shaken up. “I’ve been scared to go on the Metro becauseof the bombs there; now they’re bombing the airports,” he said.

Mr Spiridonov said that he believed most of the victims would have been people waiting to meet passengers off the flights. Taxi drivers usually congregate at the point where passengers exit from baggage reclaim, trying to drum up custom. Mark Green, who had just arrived on a BritishAirways flight, said he heard the huge explosion as he left the terminal.

“Literally, it shook you,” he said. “A lot of alarms… were going off and people started flowing out of the terminal, some of whom were covered in blood,” he told the BBC. “One gentleman had a pair of jeans on that was ripped and his thigh from his groin to his knee was covered in blood.”

Mr Medvedev has called the rebellion in the North Caucasus region the biggest threat to the security of Russia. It is led by Doku Umarov who says he wants to create an Islamic caliphate across the restive North Caucasus region.

Militants have vowed to take the bombing campaign to Moscow and attack transport and economic targets.

The Interfax news agency, citing law enforcement sources, said the head of the suspected bomber had been found at the scene, and Russian television reported that he had been a man aged between 30 and 35, who had an “Arabic” appearance; possibly from the North Caucasus.

Moscow suffered its worst attack in six years in March 2010 when two female suicide bombers from Dagestan set off explosives in the Metro, killing 40 people. The Russian leadership has staked its reputation on quelling the rebellion.

Vladimir Putin, now the Prime Minister, launched a war in 1999 to regain control over Chechnya, but the insurgency continues and has spread to neighbouring regions. Occasionally, the fight comes to Moscow, such as in last year’s Metro bombings, or in 2004, when Domodedovo was again the target.

Then, two female suicide bombers blew themselves up in midair, having boarded two flights that took off from the airport, after bribing security officials to let them on to their planes without checks.

“Security will be strengthened at large transport hubs,” Mr Medvedev wrote on Twitter yesterday. “We mourn the victims of the terrorist attack at Domodedovo airport. The organisers will be tracked down and punished.”

In Washington, President Barack Obama condemned the “outrageous act of terrorism” in Moscow.

Extraordinarily, within an hour of the blast, the airport was back running at full capacity, with arriving international passengers passing through the same hall.“They’ve just covered up the blast area in tarpaulin,” said one British woman arriving from London three hours after the blast. “Everything was normal at passport control but there was a horrible smell and we could see some smashed shop windows.”

Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleActor, from House of Cards and Benidorm, was 68
A scene from the video shows students mock rioting
newsEnd-of-year leaver's YouTube film features staging of a playground gun massacre
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
A family sit and enjoy a quiet train journey
voicesForcing us to overhear dull phone conversations is an offensive act, says Simon Kelner
i100This Instagram photo does not prove Russian army is in Ukraine
Arts and Entertainment
The cast of The Big Bang Theory in a still from the show
tvBig Bang Theory filming delayed by contract dispute over actors' pay
Morrissey pictured in 2013
England celebrate a wicket for Moeen Ali
sportMoeen Ali stars with five wickets as Cook's men level India series
Life and Style
The director of Wall-E Andrew Stanton with Angus MacLane's Lego model
gadgetsDesign made in Pixar animator’s spare time could get retail release
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
Robyn Lawley
i100  ... he was into holy war way before it was on trend
Arts and Entertainment
High-flyer: Chris Pratt in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
filmThe film is surprisingly witty, but could do with taking itself more seriously, says Geoffrey Macnab
Life and Style
food + drinkVegetarians enjoy food as much as anyone else, writes Susan Elkin
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

VB.Net Developer - £40k - Surrey - WANTED ASAP

£35000 - £40000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: .Mid Level V...

Digitakl Business Analyst, Slough

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Competitive Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: Dig...

Mechanical Estimator: Nuclear Energy - Sellafield

£40000 - £50000 per annum + Car, Medical, Fuel + More!: Progressive Recruitmen...

Dynamics NAV Techno-Functional Consultant

£50000 - £60000 per annum + benefits: Progressive Recruitment: An absolutely o...

Day In a Page

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In my grandfather's First World War footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during the war. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end