Double suicide bombings kill 38 on Moscow subway

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Two women suicide bombers killed at least 38 people and wounded dozens more in rush-hour attacks on Moscow's subway today.





The first 23 victims died in an explosion on a train shortly before 8am at the Lubyanka station underneath the headquarters of the Federal Security Service (FSB), the KGB's successor.



The second explosion hit the Park Kultury station about 45 minutes later killing at least 12 people.



Around 60 more were injured in the blasts thought to have been organised by Chechen rebels.



The attacks came six years after Caucasus Islamic separatists carried out a pair of deadly Moscow subway strikes and raised concerns that the war had once again come to Russia's capital, amid militants' warnings of a renewed determination to push their fight.



Chechen rebels claimed responsibility for a deadly bombing last year on a passenger train from Moscow to St. Petersburg.



Last month Chechen rebel leader Doku Umarov warned that "the zone of military operations will be extended to the territory of Russia ... the war is coming to their cities."



The Moscow subway is one of the world's busiest, carrying around seven million passengers on an average workday, and is key in running the traffic-choked city.



The last confirmed terrorist attack in Moscow was in August 2004, when a suicide bomber blew herself up outside a city subway station, killing 10 people. Responsibility for that blast was claimed by Chechen rebels.



Russian police have killed several Islamic militant leaders in the North Caucasus recently, including one last week in the Kabardino-Balkariya region. The killing of Anzor Astemirov was mourned by contributors to two al-Qa'ida-linked websites.



The militants receive moral and possibly financial support from al-Qa'ida. Dozens of contributors to three websites affiliated with al-Qa'ida wrote in praise of today's attacks.



One site opened a special page to "receive congratulations" for the Chechen rebels who "started the dark tunnel attacks in the apostate countries," and all wished for God to accept the two sisters as martyrs.



"Don't forget Russia's crimes of genocide in the Caucasus and Chechnya," said one writer. "The battle has been shifted to the heart of Moscow," another wrote.



In a televised meeting with President Dmitry Medvedev, Federal Security Service head Alexander Bortnikov said body fragments of the two bombers pointed to a Caucasus connection.



"We will continue the fight against terrorism unswervingly and to the end," Mr Medvedev said.



Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who built much of his political capital by directing a fierce war with Chechen separatists a decade ago, vowed today that "terrorists will be destroyed."



Although the Russian army battered Chechen rebels in massive assaults a decade ago, the separatists continue to move through the region's mountains and forests with comparative ease and launch frequent small attacks.



The Moscow blasts practically paralysed movement in the city centre as emergency vehicles sped to the stations.







In the Park Kultury blast, the bomber was wearing a belt packed with plastic explosive and set it off as the train's doors opened. A woman who sells newspapers outside the Lubyanka station, Ludmila Famokatova, said there appeared to be no panic, but that many of the people who streamed out were distraught.



"One man was weeping, crossing himself, saying 'thank God I survived'," she said.



By late afternoon the two subway stations reopened and dozens boarded trains.



"It's really terrifying," said Vasily Vlastinin, 16. "It's become dangerous to ride the metro, but I'll keep taking the metro. You have to get to school, to college, to work somehow."



Both stations had been scrubbed clean. Holes left by shrapnel in the granite were the only reminder of the bombings.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Health & Safety Consultant

£16000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic and exciting opport...

Recruitment Genius: Project and Quality Manager

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is an independent ...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Sales Executive - OTE £20,625

£14625 - £20625 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This role is for an enthusiasti...

Guru Careers: Financial Controller

£45 - £55k DOE: Guru Careers: A Financial Controller is required to join a suc...

Day In a Page

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

Margaret Attwood on climate change

The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered: What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week

New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered

What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week
Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
Ants have unique ability to switch between individual and collective action, says study

Secrets of ants' teamwork revealed

The insects have an almost unique ability to switch between individual and collective action
Donovan interview: The singer is releasing a greatest hits album to mark his 50th year in folk

Donovan marks his 50th year in folk

The singer tells Nick Duerden about receiving death threats, why the world is 'mentally ill', and how he can write a song about anything, from ecology to crumpets
Let's Race simulator: Ultra-realistic technology recreates thrill of the Formula One circuit

Simulator recreates thrill of F1 circuit

Rory Buckeridge gets behind the wheel and explains how it works
Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation' over plans to overhaul reverse-chronological timeline

Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation'

Facebook exasperates its users by deciding which posts they can and can’t see. So why has Twitter announced plans to do the same?
Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag - but what else could the fashion house call it?

Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag

The star was shocked by a Peta investigation into the exotic skins trade
10 best waterproof mascaras

Whatever the weather: 10 best waterproof mascaras

We found lash-enhancing beauties that won’t budge no matter what you throw at them
Diego Costa biography: Chelsea striker's route to the top - from those who shared his journey

Diego Costa: I go to war. You come with me...

Chelsea's rampaging striker had to fight his way from a poor city in Brazil to life at the top of the Premier League. A new book speaks to those who shared his journey
Ashes 2015: England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

The biggest problem facing them in Birmingham was the recovery of the zeitgeist that drained so quickly under the weight of Australian runs at Lord's, says Kevin Garside
Women's Open 2015: Charley Hull - 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

Charley Hull: 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

British teen keeps her feet on ground ahead of Women's Open
Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'