At least 15 people were killed in a blast at a railway station in the city of Volgograd, southern Russia. A Muslim female suicide bomber is suspected to have carried out the attack. The incident is being treated as an act of Islamic terrorism.
RT “According to verified information, the explosion at the railway station in Volgograd has claimed 15 lives,”Russia’s Investigative Committee said.
Another 34 were injured, 8 of them more critically, including a girl of 9. The child has been taken to a local hospital. Her mother died in the blast, according to the Committee. At the same time, the Health Ministry confirms that 45 people have been taken to hospital.
The blast took place at 12.45 local time inside the building of the railway. It is “thought to have been carried out by a female suicide bomber,” according to the anti-terrorism committee’s statement.
“At 12.45 we got informed that a boom or a blast was heard in the building of the railway station, Volgograd-1. Smoke was reported,” Svetlana Smolyaninova, a police spokesperson said, according to RIA Novosti.
The power of the explosion at Volgograd’s station was equivalent to at least 10 kg TNT, according to Markin. The explosive device was stuffed with pieces of scrap metal. The Committee said that an undetonated F-1 grenade was also found at the scene.
Interfax’s source said that “the blast happened near the metal detectors located at the entrance to the station.” A source in the law enforcement department in Russia’s Republic of Dagestan has confirmed to RIA Novosti news agency that, according to preliminary information, Oksana Aslanova carried out the attack.
She is said to have been married twice to two Islamic militants. Both of her husbands have been reportedly eliminated, according to LifeNews TV channel. Aslanova is also said to be a close friend of Naida Asiyalova, also known as ‘Amaturahman,’ who was behind the attack in Volgograd in October, when six were killed and 30 injured.
Below video shows the head of the suicide bomberette:
UPDATE: Now Russia is reporting that a man might have been behind the attack:
One witness told the news agency that he saw “two bodies lying in front of the entrance, pieces of shattered glass are everywhere, there’s a ton of rubble there.” He added that “apparently, the explosion led to a fire, which the firefighters quickly put out.“
Another witness told RT that the windows on both levels of the station have been shattered and that “the police have cordoned off the area, nobody’s allowed on the premises. There’s a very heavy police presence, emergency ministry officials, bomb squads… it’s understandable that people are afraid, but there aren’t any screams or panicking.”
Volgograd is a city of around 1 million people, about 690 km northeast of Sochi and close to Russia’s volatile region of North Caucasus. The city saw a terrorist attack just in October, when a MUSLIM suicide bomber blew herself up in a bus, killing six people and injuring more than 30 others.
On Friday, a car bomb killed three people, all passerbys, in the southern Russian city of Pyatigorsk as a homemade explosive device went off outside the Road Traffic Safety Department.