Breaking: Blast at Moscow airport reportedly kills 10; Update: 31 dead, 130 injured; Update: Video added; Update: FSB seeking 3 accomplices
posted at 9:30 am on January 24, 2011 by Ed Morrissey
This is just coming across the BBC wire and details are sketchy, but a blast has reportedly killed 10 people at Moscow’s busiest airport, Domodedovo. Early hints are that it might be a suicide bombing, but take that with a grain of salt at this point:
Moscow’s Domodedovo airport – the busiest in the Russian capital – has been rocked by an explosion.
At least 10 people have been killed in the blast and that dozens more are reported to have been injured.
Reports suggest a suicide bomber was behind the blast.
The Russian Federation has fought a years-long war in the Caucasus against Islamist separatists. On occasion, those groups have staged terrorist attacks in Moscow and other parts of the country. Those battles have been quiet lately, though, and Russia has other sources of unrest that could have resulted in an attack. It also could still be an accidental explosion in the terminal.
We’ll update this post as more details emerge.
Update: Reuters also reports 10 dead, 20 injured, and that it was a suicide bomber:
At least 10 people were killed and 20 injured in a suicide bomb blast at Moscow’s Domodedovo airport Monday, Interfax news agency reported.
Update II: The AP was a little more cautious, saying that “no immediate word” on a cause had been given and not offering anything more specific than “at least 20 casualties.”
Update III: At the same link, the AP now says 23 are dead and are now including the likelihood of it being a suicide-bomber attack.
Update IV: The AP now puts the death toll to 31, with 130 injured. They also note that Domodedovo had a reputation for lax security:
Domodedovo is generally regarded as Moscow’s most up-to-date airport, but its security procedures have been called into question.
In 2004, two suicide bombers were able to board planes at Domodedovo by buying tickets illegally from airport personnel. The bombers blew themselves up in mid-air, killing all 90 people aboard the two flights.
At least according to today’s reports, it’s also the busiest airport in Moscow, which makes it an even bigger target.
Update V: Reportedly, this is video taken right after the blast. Looks like it was taken from a cell phone; it’s pretty grainy.
Update VI: The Russian security service FSB says that they are now looking for three potential accomplices, and that the actions are suspected of originating with terrorists from the North Caucasus, where the Islamist separatists operate:
A criminal case has been opened into the apparent terror attack. Police are searching for three suspects in connection with the blast after watching airport security camera footage.
Three men who have been living in the Russian capital for a certain period of time reportedly took part in organizing the blast, a source told Interfax news agency. He also noted that these three were believed to be Russian North Caucasus militants and might have been somehow connected to two women, one of whom blew herself up at a practice range club in Moscow on December 31 and the other was later arrested in the city of Volgograd.
Reportedly, the FSB knew that an attack was imminent, but didn’t know where or when it would hit.
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