Up to ten people are dead and 27 wounded during a bus explosion in Volgograd – southern Russian city, according the last reports from Russia. A suicide bomber responsible for the attack has been identified, according to the criminal investigative committee.
The blast happened in the middle of the day on the 29 bus line. Eyewitness who was driving 100 meters behind the bus told a local newspaper that a huge explosion shook the bus soon after 2 p.m. local time blasting off all the windows. He and other witnesses immediately run to the front doors trying to force them open and started pulling victims from inside. Parts of dead bodies were lying everywhere on the bus floor.
Most of the victims were students of the Volgograd University. There were 40 people on the bus. At first four people were reported dead. However, the death toll has increased since and, according to some reports, reached up to ten now. At least 27 people are hospitalized in the local hospitals. Eight of them are in a serious condition. Some of the victims that suffered heavy burns and loss of the extremities might be transferred to Moscow.
One of the first versions of the event was that the gas canisters had exploded; however, eyewitnesses did not smell any gas leak.
After investigating the remnants of the distorted bus, experts found traces of explosives. According to one of the survived victims, cited by the criminal investigative committee, the blast occurred after a young lady entered the bus on one of the bus stops. Vladimir Markin, the member of the criminal investigative committee, identified the suicide bomber as 30 year old Naida Asiyalova from Dagestan. She was the wife of Dmitry Sokolov – member of a terrorist group from Machachkala. According to Valery Safonov, deputy director of the local investigative committee, the bomb was planted into her belt.
Teams of investigators from Federal Security Center, police and Ministry of emergency situations are participating in a criminal terrorist investigation.
After the incident, police ordered all private buses to stop their service in Volgograd, all public transportation in the city has been searched for the explosives.
Volgograd is located on the western bank of the Volga 900 km south from Moscow (560 miles). With a population slightly over one million people, it is a center of oil refining, chemical, steel and aluminum production, ships and vehicle building. It is the first tragedy connected to the terrorism of such a scale happening in Volgograd. However, it is not the first in the line of explosions that happened in the public transportation in Russia.
Among the previous most terrifying attacks were few trolley and subway explosions in Moscow in 1996 and later in 2010. In 2004 suicide bombers allegedly blasted TU-154 and TU-134 planes that caused death of 90 people. In 2011 a huge explosion happened in the Domodedovo airport claiming lives of 37 people.
Vladimir Putin personally declared the war on terrorism when he became a President of Russia in 2000; however, the number of terrorist attacks has not declined since then, but to the contrary, increased. Started with the independence war for Chechnya, it overgrown into the uncontrollable series of terrorists attacks tearing apart North Caucasian region of Russia and some Russian southern cities.
By Alsu Salakhutdinov