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January 26, 2011

Memorial Service to be Held for Russian Airport Bombing Victims

Russians will pay their respects in Moscow Thursday to victims of this week's suicide bombing at Domodedovo Airport that killed 35 people and wounded 168.

Russia's TARR-TASS news agency says the service at Pushkin Square will include a moment of silence at the exact time of Monday's bombing as well as funeral rites.

No one has claimed responsibility for the blast.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin says the early investigation shows no connection to Chechen extremists.   He said Wednesday that no self-respecting country would negotiate with terrorists.

Russia is battling an Islamic insurgency in the North Caucasus, including Chechnya, Dagestan and Ingushetia.

On Wednesday, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev fired the head of the central Russian transport district, Andrei Alexeyev, for security lapses he says led to Monday's attack.

Mr. Medvedev says more firings could be possible.

Security procedures at Domodedovo have failed in the past. In 2004, two suicide bombers boarded planes at the airport and blew themselves up in mid-air, killing 90 people aboard the two flights.

Monday's bombing was the worst in the Russian capital since last March when a double suicide bombing killed at least 40 people in the Moscow subway. The two women responsible for those attacks were from Dagestan.