Monday, April 03, 2017

Explosive Device on Subway Train in St. Petersburg Kills at Least 10 People
At least 10 people were killed and 50 injured in a blast on a train in the St. Petersburg subway April 3.

By David Filipov
Washington Post
April 3 at 9:49 AM

MOSCOW — A large explosion tore apart a train as it traveled between two central St. Petersburg metro stations Monday, killing at least 10 people and injuring dozens, Russian officials said.

Russia’s National Anti-Terrorism Committee said the explosion was caused by “an unidentified explosive device,” but it gave no other details. Russia’s Investigative Committee also opened a criminal investigation.

The entire St. Petersburg subway system was shut down as a precaution, and security was boosted around the city, where Russian President Vladi­mir Putin was holding talks with Belarusan leader Alexander Lukashenko.

“I have already talked to the chiefs of special services, the [Federal Security Service] director,” Putin said in televised remarks at the meeting with Lukashenko, a key Russian ally. “The law enforcement agencies and special services are working, and they will do everything to find out the causes of the incident and make a full assessment of what has happened.”

Authorities gave no other immediate details on the investigation. Russian news agencies said a second explosive device was found that did not detonate.

The St. Petersburg governor’s office said at least 40 people were injured. Authorities said 25 were hospitalized.

Viktor Ozerov, a member of the defense and security committee of the upper house of the Russian parliament, told the Interfax news agency that the attack had “all the characteristics of a terrorist attack.”

Television stations in St. Petersburg showed firetrucks and emergency vehicles surrounding the Sennaya Ploshchad metro station. The area is famous as the site of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s novel “Crime and Punishment.”

Passengers entering St. Petersburg and Moscow subway stations have to pass through metal detectors, though staff are lax about who gets through. They will not stop, for example, someone carrying a concealed metal camera and tripod.

David Filipov is The Post’s bureau chief in Moscow, focusing on Russia and the republics of the former Soviet Union. He previously reported for The Boston Globe from Boston, Russia, Iraq and Afghanistan.  Follow @davidfilipov

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