Petersburg bombing: Several people arrested, explosive defused during raid

Carla Harmon
April 7, 2017

As many as 14 people were killed and 49 others injured in the explosion on a Metro train between two underground stations in St Petersburg Monday which was termed as a terror attack. An ethnic Uzbek from the southern Kyrgyzstan city of Osh, he moved with his father to St Petersburg for work several years ago, according to neighbors in Osh.

On Wednesday, Russian president Vladimir Putin explained that the attack on St. Petersburg could be the tip of the iceberg in the post-Soviet sphere.

The Investigative Committee, the state body leading the investigation, said footage from security cameras near the same building showed the suspect, Akbarzhon Jalilov, leaving home carrying a bag and a rucksack.

"Searches are being held at the suspects' living places, in the course of which investigators are seizing Islamist extremist literature, the items and documents important for investigating the criminal case", it said.

To prevent further attacks, Russian authorities have reinforced security measures across St Petersburg and Moscow at public transport stations, public buildings, squares, schools and kindergartens.

An unidentified law enforcement official told the Tass news agency that investigators were checking information that Dzhalilov may have trained with Daesh in Syria.

A woman lays flowers at a symbolic memorial at Tekhnologichesky Institute subway station in St. Petersburg, Russia, Tuesday, April 4, 2017.

The attack has left St. Petersburg residents on edge.

RIA Novosti news agency and some Kyrgyz media outlets reported that Dzhalilov was born in Kyrgyzstan and attained Russian citizenship. "I could feel on my cheek something burning and I managed to hide behind my grandmother", she said.

Shortly after Russian Federation launched its military operation in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in 2015, the group released a video where it threatened to attack Russian Federation very soon, and said that "the blood will spill like an ocean". A second resident also said Jalilov had been a tenant in the building. In Russia, he worked with his father as a panel beater in a vehicle fix shop, they said. Dzhalilov's DNA was found on the bag.

The Investigative Committee confirmed the search but a spokeswoman declined to give details about what they found.

However, Djalilov's mother did have a concise and precise response when asked whether she believed that her son committed the attack: "I don't believe it", she said.

"We see that the situation unfortunately is not improving and the best proof of that is the recent events in St. Petersburg", Putin said at a Kremlin meeting.

Irina Medyantseva, 50, who died as she tried to shield her daughter from the explosion, according to reports in Russian Federation.

Other reports by iNewsToday