Following the bomb blast which rocked Russia’s second largest city, St. Petersburg, on Monday at about 2:30 pm local time, leaving 14 people dead and 45 others injured with investigators believing it was a terrorist attack.
Russia’s leader Vladimir Putin has since visited the scene of the explosion, met with investigators and laid flowers in memory of the victims and he also spoke in a statement saying “The causes are not clear, so it is premature to speak at this moment. Obviously, we are always considering all options – technical and criminal, first of all, manifestations of a terrorist nature”.
Here are 5 facts we were able to get from the attack in St. Petersburg’s subway.
1. How many people are injured?
According to the latest reports, 14 people died with 11 instantly at the scene, one in the ambulance and two more in the hospital the day after. There are also reports that 45 people are currently receiving treatment in various hospitals around St. Petersburg.
2. Was it a terrorist attack?
With no one claiming responsibility for the bombing, the Russian authorities opened a criminal case over the explosion on charges of the terrorist act.
The president of Russia Vladimir Putin, who initially met with the Belorussian President, Alexander Lukashenko, made it known in a statement that a terrorist attack was the first line of investigation to be carried out. He made it known that the investigation will show what really happened.
3. Who is the suspect?
It is believed that the bomb was in a briefcase which was left in the carriage. According to Interfax news agency the initial suspect was a 23 year old national of an ex-soviet central Asian nation but refused to give the name or country of the suspect though Interfax later reported that the law enforcement officials have cleared the suspect from the video as he had gone to the police to profess his innocence after seeing himself on the television.
GKNB security service has identified the suspect of the attack as 23-year old Akbarzhon Jalilov, a Kyrgyz born Russian citizen. It came as Russian investigators on Tuesday morning said a suicide bomber was suspected to have been behind the blast.
4. It could have been worst: the 2nd bomb was defused
The first bomb blew up between Sennaya Ploshchad and Tekhnologicheskiy Institut stations and hours later a larger bomb which was disguised as a fire extinguisher was found and disarmed at Ploshchad Vosstaniya station. It was filled with metal balls and coins – up to five times as powerful as the first bomb. Likely, it was found before the bomb went off.
5. The last terrorist attack in Russia
This is not the first time there has been a terrorist attack targeting St. Petersburg. The last terrorist attack was a bomb which killed 224 people on board a plane on its way from St. Petersburg to Egypt in which the Islamic state claimed responsibility for that attack.
There was also a case in Moscow’s subway in March 2010, where two female suicide bombers killed about 41 people and injured another 100 in the peak hours of the morning with the Caucasus emirate taking responsibility for that attack.
Our prayers are with the victims and their families.
Stay strong, St. Petersburg!