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IMAGES: Suicide blast kills 35 at Moscow airport

Last updated on: January 25, 2011 01:47 IST

Suicide blast kills 35 at Moscow airport; injures 130

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A suspected suicide bomber triggered explosives at Moscow's busiest international airport on Monday killing at least 35 people and leaving 130 injured, in the first major terror attack in less than a year.

"From the preliminary information we have, it was a terror attack," President Dmitry Medvedev told officials in a televised briefing, shortly after canceling his visit to Davos for the World Economic Forum meeting.

According to eyewitnesses quoted by Rossiya 24 news channel, two blasts were heard in the international arrivals sector of the Domodedovo international airport, 40 kms south-east of city centre.

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Image: Victims of a bomb explosion are seen at Moscow's Domodedovo airport in this still image taken from mobile phone footage on Monday
Photographs: Stanislav Grigoryev/Reuters TV
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Suicide blast kills 35 at Moscow airport; injures 130

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At least 35 people were killed and over 100 injured in the attack at the airport, the report said. RIA Novosti said there was at least one suicide bomber with explosives with five kilo TNT equivalent.

Investigation Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said the power of the blast was between 5-10 kg equivalent of TNT. The bomb went off at 1902 IST in the baggage claim area of the international arrival sector, Itar-Tass quoted Tatyana Morozova of the Russian investigation committee as saying.

Interfax did not rule out that the explosives were in a suitcase. TV images showed people covered in blood running for safety amid chaos and thick smoke.


Image: Victims of a bomb explosion are seen at Moscow's Domodedovo airport in this still image taken from mobile phone footage on Monday
Photographs: Stanislav Grigoryev/Reuters TV
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Suicide blast kills 35 at Moscow airport; injures 130

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The suicide bomber with metal pieces filled explosive vest was in the thick crowd of people receiving the arriving passengers, Russian media said.

Those at the airport said the terminal was packed to capacity at the time of explosion.

Airport employees broke down the wall between the main airport and the arrival zone to allow passengers to escape from the scene of the destruction, it said.


Image: Medics wheel a victim of the bomb explosion at Domodedovo airport from an emergency vehicle into the N v Sklifosovsky Scientific Research Institute of First Aid in Moscow
Photographs: Nikolay Korchekov/Reuters
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Suicide blast kills 35 at Moscow airport; injures 130

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According to Business FM radio it was a suicide attack.

"According to preliminary information, the explosive device was set off by a suicide bomber in the international departures hall," the Interfax news agency quoted an unnamed security source as saying.

Passengers from about 2 dozen international flight including from New York, Dubai, Asghabat, Cairo, London, Vienna, Munich, Hamburg, Tokyo and Istanbul were around the area of the explosion that was not far from one of the restaurants.

Eyewitnesses said blood was splattered around and the injured, many with severe wounds, were seen running for safety. Domodedovo airport is Russia's largest airhub in terms of passenger travel.


Image: A woman cries while talking on the phone to an acquaintance who is at Domodedovo airport
Photographs: Denis Sinyakov/Reuters
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Suicide blast kills 35 at Moscow airport; injures 130

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Medevedev ordered that security be increased at all of the country's airports and transportation hubs after the incident.

Last March, the Russian capital's underground subway system was rocked by two female suicide bombers from Russia's restive Dagestan region, who detonated their explosives on busy metro system during rush hour, killing 40 people and injuring more than 80.

Medvedev ordered authorities to step up security at Moscow's two other commercial airports and other transport facilities, including the subway system, the target of past terror attacks.


Image: People entering Moscow's Domodedovo airport stand in line as they prepare to pass their belongings
Photographs: Denis Sinyakov/Reuters
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Suicide blast kills 35 at Moscow airport; injures 130

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Although there have been repeated attacks on the Moscow subway and Russian trains, most blamed on Chechen militants, the bombing today was the first involving a Russian airport since 2004.

"The bomb might have been in the luggage," a police officer said, adding that one of the possible leads was terrorism.

Security sources said the blast was probably set off by a suicide bomber from the country's turbulent north Caucasus region. The Moscow inter-regional investigation department on transport of Russia's Investigation Committee has opened a criminal case on charges of terrorism.


Image: Members of the Federal Security Service work outside Moscow's Domodedovo airport following the blast
Photographs: Denis Sinyakov/Reuters
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Suicide blast kills 35 at Moscow airport; injures 130

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Sergei Lavochkin, who was waiting in the arrivals hall for a friend to arrive from Cuba, said he saw emergency teams carrying bloodied people out of the terminal.

"I heard a loud bang, saw plastic panels falling down from the ceiling and heard people screaming. Then people started running away," Lavochkin told Rossiya 24 television.

Two suicide bombers in 2004 managed to board two planes at Domodedovo, where the female bombers blew themselves up in mid-air, killing all 90 people aboard the flights.


Image: Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev talks to Prosecutor General Yury Chaika during a special meeting at the presidential residence outside Moscow following the blast on Monday
Photographs: Reuters
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