St. Petersburg attacker was likely born in Kyrgyzstan | News | DW | 04.04.2017
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St. Petersburg attacker was likely born in Kyrgyzstan

Preliminary information indicates a 22-year-old Kyrgyz-born man was behind the deadly bombings in St. Petersburg, authorities in Kyrgyzstan said. He was reportedly caught on security cameras in the city's metro.

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Officials in the former Soviet state identified the suspected terrorist on Tuesday as Kyrgyzstan national Akbarjon Djalilov.

"It is probable that he acquired Russian nationality," a spokesman for the country's security services told the AFP news agency.

According to a St. Petersburg news outlet Fontanka, Djalilov has lived in the Russian city for over six years. He was recorded by the metro surveillance system around the time of the Monday bombing that killed 14 people and injured 49 others in a likely terror attack. The authorities are also searching for his car, a Daewoo Nexia.

No terror organization immediately claimed responsibility for Monday's attack. There were conflicting reports about the bomber surviving the blast.

Authorities said that foreign nationals were among the casualities.

'Standing up to the worst of threats'

The 5-million population city of St. Petersburg declared a three-day mourning period starting on Tuesday, with flags flying at half mast.

At the same time, the locals celebrated the subway driver who managed to drive the train to the next stop, despite the explosion, helping survivors evacuate.

 The 50-year-old Alexander Kaverin appeared on state television, saying that he had simply followed the instructions.
"We have already had explosions and smart people developed smart instructions," Kaverin said. "At that moment there was no time to be afraid, it was time to work," 

The attacks showed it was "impossible" to destabilize Russia with terror, said Vladimir Vasilev, the leader of the ruling "United Russia" party group in the Russian parliament.

"The Russian society demonstrated its capability of standing up to the worst of threats," he said.

Even after the metro was shut down, "there was no panic among the citizens, and the city authorities decided to offer other means of city transport free of charge," he added.

Lavrov urges joint action

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met with Kyrgyz colleague Erlan Abdyldayev to discuss the Monday incident. Russia's top diplomat thanked the Bishkek government for their solidarity and said that the attack "once again shows the importance of stepping up joint efforts to combat this evil."

In turn, Abdyldayev said there was no excuse for terrorism.

"Terror has no nationality and no borders, and we need to stand together when fighting it," he said.

The predominantly Muslim nation of Kyrgyzstan is a close ally of Moscow and hosts a Russian military airbase.

On Tuesday morning, the authorities once again closed the subway station Sennaya Ploshchad, one of the stations targeted in the attack, after receiving an anonymous bomb threat. It was given the "all clear" signal later in the day, after no suspicious objects were found. The subway system is now back to normal.

dj/msh (AFP, Reuters, AP, Interfax)

 

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