VOLGOGRAD, December 29 -– For the second time in just over two months the southern Russian city of Volgograd has been the scene of a terror bombing attack. Russia’s Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin reported that the attack was carried out by a suicide female bomber, as was the previous bombing in October.
Although we don’t have sound, here is a web cam video of the explosion as it happened from outside the train station.
So far officials say that 18 people have died and around 35 people injured in a terror blast that ripped through the entryway of the train station in Volgograd. The blast was triggered when a female approached the metal detectors at the entrance to Volgograd’s train station. A security guard noticed the woman looking nervously at the checkpoint and when approached she tripped the device.
RIA/Novosti is reporting that one of the seriously injured is a nine-year-old girl whose mother shielded her with her own body at the time of the blast. The girl is in critical condition but her mother died at the scene.
Volgograd region governor Sergei Bozhenov confirmed that the remains of a suspected suicide bomber were discovered at the scene and police have tentatively identified the suicide bomber as Oksana Aslanova. She has been on a “most wanted” list of terror suspects in Russia. It is thought that the suspect planned to board a train before setting off the bomb.
Russians call them “black widows” – women who seek to avenge the deaths of their family members in North Caucasus fighting between the government and Islamic extremists. LifeNews channel is reporting that Aslanova was married twice to militants who were killed. Aslanova is believed to have been a close friend of Naida Asiyalova, the “black widow” from the bombing in October.
On October 21 female suicide bomber Naida Asivalova killed six people aboard a crowded bus leaving Volgograd for Moscow. Islamic rebel leader Doku Umarov has called for “black widows” and other Islamic forces to target civilians and disrupt the Olympic Winter Games which will run from February 4 to 23 in the Russian city of Sochi.
Sochi is only 690 kilometres southwest of Volgograd, a vital transport link in the region, often carrying travelers to and from North Caucasus regions such as Chechnya and Dagestan. The rebels have vowed to use violence surrounding the Olympic games to call attention to their drive for an Islamist state in Russia’s North Caucasus region.
RT television reported that Russia’s Emergency Situations Ministry has transported some of the most critical victims to Moscow trauma clinics by air ambulance.