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Russia: Suspects held over airport bomb

Several people with information on last month's suicide bombing at a Moscow airport have been detained, Russia's top security official said yesterday. Alexander Bortnikov added that the bomber was under the influence of mind-altering drugs.

Relatives of a woman who was killed while allegedly preparing a New Year's Eve suicide bombing in Moscow are suspected of providing assistance in the airport bombing, General Bortnikov said.

It was not immediately clear if any of them were among those detained, but General Bortnikov, who is director of the FSB, said some suspects were still being sought.

The bombing in the international arrivals terminal at Domodedovo Airport on 24 January killed 36 people and wounded 180.

Investigators said last week that the bomber was a 20-year-old man from the Caucasus region in Russia's south, which is gripped by an Islamic insurgency. The bomber's name has not been released and officials have provided only vague details of the investigation.

An autopsy showed "a huge amount of highly potent narcotic and psychotropic substances in parts of the suicide bomber's body," General Bortnikov said in a televised meeting with President Dmitry Medvedev.

Russia's main investigative body claimed last week that the bombing had been solved, but Mr Medvedev sharply criticised that assessment as premature.