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St. Petersburg - Explosion - Russia
St. Petersburg in Russia

The suspect in Monday’s train explosion in St. Petersburg, Russia, which killed 11 people and injured dozens, has been identified by Kyrgyz security services, according to several news agencies.

The suspect, named as Akbarjon Djalilov, is a Kyrgyzstan national.

Here are the latest developments:

The explosion took place between the Sennaya Ploshchad and Tekhnologichesky Institut stations.

The two city center stations have been reopened.

A three-day mourning period has started.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, which led to the shutdown of the city’s metro system.

11 people were killed and 51 people were injured in attack, according to CNN affiliate RBC.

Four of the injured are in critical condition, Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova said, according to Tass.

According to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, Russian President Vladimir Putin held a meeting with security and law-enforcement services on Monday where he was informed about preliminary results of the investigation over the metro blast, state-run Tass news agency reported.

Putin had been in St. Petersburg earlier in the day, he laid roses at one of the memorials Tuesday.

US President Donald Trump spoke briefly with Putin on Monday, expressing his condolences in the wake of the terror attack and offering assistance in the investigation.

Opinion: The likely culprits behind the St. Petersburg blast

A second, larger device was found and defused at another station, Russia’s Anti-Terrorism Committee said.

That device, hidden in a fire extinguisher, was larger than the one that went off, according to state media reports quoting law enforcement. It carried about a kilogram of TNT, the reports said.

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev described the attack as a “terrorist act,” but authorities have released no specifics on who they believe is responsible, and no group has yet claimed the attack as their handiwork.

However, the two main suspects appear to be Chechen separatists, and ISIS, the Iraq and Syria-based group which famously claimed to bomb a Russian MetroJet flight over the Sinai desert in Egypt. It’s not clear if Djalilov belonged to either group.

Another possibility, says former CNN Moscow Bureau Chief and Woodrow Wilson Center Global Fellow Jill Dougherty, is a hybrid Chechen rebel-ISIS attack.

“It could (be a combination of ISIS and Chechen separatists),” she told CNN.

Many Chechen fighters have gone to fight in Syria, she says, and it has long been feared that they could bring their battlefield expertise back home.

“The fear was that after (Chechens) had been radicalized and almost professionalized, by that time in Syria would then come home and carry out attacks in Russia … (which) would fit the kind of ISIS international terrorism theory that Putin has been talking about.

“It makes it easier for him to make that proposal… to President Trump and the West let’s get on board, let’s fight terrorism together.'”

Russia was once a hotspot for terror attacks, but the country has experienced relatively few in recent years.

 

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