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Death tall of St Petersburg subway bombing rises to 11

Death tall of St Petersburg subway bombing rises to 11The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, held a meeting with security chiefs late on Monday night as security officials investigated a bomb blast on a St Petersburg metro train that killed 11 people and wounded dozens more. A second explosive device was left at a different metro station but did not detonate.

This is reported by The Guardian.

Police initially said the device had been left on the train by the attacker, and that a search was under way for two people suspected of organising and carrying out the attack. Later, however, the Interfax news agency claimed the blast had in fact been caused by a suicide bomber, citing a law enforcement source, but there was no immediate confirmation of this.

The explosion occurred at around 2.30pm local time on Monday, after the train had left Sennaya Ploshchad station in the centre of St Petersburg. The driver made the decision to continue to the next station, Tekhnologicheskii Institut, in order to make evacuation easier.

In the hours after the blast, Russia’s anti-terror agency said a second bomb had been found and defused at Ploshchad Vosstaniya, another metro station in the centre of the city. Interfax said the second bomb would have been several times more powerful than the first, and was reportedly a device disguised as a fire extinguisher that had been rigged with shrapnel.

Eleven people were confirmed to have died, and St Petersburg authorities said 43 were being treated in hospital.

As of Monday evening, there had been no claims of responsibility for the attack, and the internet was awash with various theories. Most analysts suggested the most likely culprits would be Islamist insurgents, possibly linked to Islamic State.

There was no official explanation of who might have been behind the attack except for the announcement that a search was under way for two people.

Some Russian media released a photograph of a man they said was one of the suspects, with a long black beard and wearing a black skullcap and all-black outfit. Later, agencies reported that the man had gone to the police after his image was published, and had nothing to do with the blast.

The Interfax source said the suicide bomber was a 23-year-old from one of the former-Soviet Central Asian republics. A Kazakh security official later told a government meeting that the suspect was a Russian citizen of Central Asian origin.
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