World

Likely suspect in St Petersburg attack is Kyrgyz-born Russian citizen

Another explosive device found at a different St Petersburg metro station

The likely suspect in a deadly blast in the Russian city of St. Petersburg is a Kyrgyz-born Russian citizen, Kyrgyzstan’s security service said on Tuesday.

A spokesman for the GKNB security service said it had received an official request from Russian security services to identify the suspect.

The spokesman declined to name the suspect or provide any additional information.

At least 11 people were killed and at least 45 were injured yesterday after an explosion rocked the metro system in Russia's second city Saint Petersburg, according to authorities, who were not ruling out a possible terror attack.

President Vladimir Putin said investigators were looking into all possible causes for the explosion - "accidental, criminal and first of all ... terrorist."

An unidentified explosive device went off at 2.20pm (7.40pm, Singapore time) on a train leaving the Technology Institute station and heading to the Sennaya Ploshchad station, Russia's National Anti-Terrorist Committee said.

Russian security agencies found and defused a second explosive device at the Ploschad Vosstaniya station, the committee also said.

Officials may have caught the organiser of the attacks on CCTV, Russian news agency Interfax reported. The first device was not detonated by a suicide bomber, Interfax said.

CHAOS

The blast caused scenes of confusion, with traffic blocked on Moskovsky Prospect, a busy thoroughfare, as emergency vehicles rushed to the station.

"My mum was in the metro, I don't know what's happened to her, I can't get hold of her," one woman, Natalia, told AFP outside the station as she was trying to make a phone call on her mobile.

A student identified only as Polina, who was on the train between Sennaya Ploshchad and Texnologichesky Institute stations, told Gazeta.ru, a Russian news website: "We were riding in the neighbouring car, and at that time it was very crowded. All the seats were taken and many were standing.

"The explosion went off between stations. There was a thundering clap, followed by a strong smell and smoke."

She said the train continued to move even after the blast.

"Everyone got out at Texnologichesky Institute station. There, we saw that the neighbouring wagon was shattered, the windows blown out, no light, blood," she added.

The explosive device was said to have been filled with shrapnel, Interfax news agency said.

The homemade device was thought to be equivalent to 200 grams of TNT.

Video showed injured people lying bleeding on a platform, some being treated by emergency services and fellow passengers.

Others ran away from the platform amid clouds of smoke, some screaming or holding their hands to their faces.

A huge hole was blown open in the side of a carriage with metal wreckage strewn across the platform. Passengers were seen hammering at the windows of one closed carriage.

Russian TV said many had suffered lacerations from glass shards and metal.

"I appeal to you, citizens of St Petersburg and guests of our city to be alert, attentive and cautious and to behave in a responsible matter in light of events," St Petersburg Governor Georgy Poltavchenko said in an address.

All metro stations in St Petersburg were closed.

Security measures have also been enhanced at St Petersburg's Pulkovo Airport, the airport's press service told TASS.

Singapore strongly condemns the terror attack at the St Petersburg Metro, said Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said in a statement.

"The Singapore Embassy in Moscow has reached out to Singaporeans who are e-registered in St Petersburg, and ascertained that all of them are safe.  Thus far, there have been no reports of Singaporeans directly affected by or injured in the incident.  The Singapore Embassy will continue to monitor the situation closely," it added.

Singaporeans in St Petersburg are advised to keep in touch with their family and friends so that they know you are safe. Those who require urgent consular assistance should contact the Singapore Embassy in Moscow or MFA Duty Office at:
 
Singapore Embassy in Moscow
Tel: + 74 992 413 702
Duty Hand-Phone: +7 903 7222 580
Email: singemb_mow@mfa.sg
 
MFA Duty Office (24-hours)
Tel: +65 63798800/8855
Email: mfa_duty_officer@mfa.gov.sg


- WIRE SERVICES

RussiabombingTRAINS