News / Europe

Dozens Dead After Suicide Bomb Rips Moscow Airport

Medics wheel a victim of a bomb explosion at Moscow's Domodedovo airport, 24 Jan 2011
Medics wheel a victim of a bomb explosion at Moscow's Domodedovo airport, 24 Jan 2011
James Brooke

An explosion ripped through the international section of Moscow's busiest airport, killing 35 people and wounding 168, officials said.  

The massive blast, with an explosive force of seven kilograms of TNT, was caused by a suicide bomber, Russian officials said.

Sergei Lavochkin, was waiting in the arrivals hall for a friend to arrive from Cuba, when he heard the explosion.

He said he heard a massive bang, saw panels fall from the ceiling, then heard people screaming, and saw people running away.

British Airways passenger Mark Green had just arrived at the airport.  He told BBC television that after the explosion he saw people streaming out of the terminal, some covered in blood. A British citizen and several other foreigners were among the dead, Russian news agencies reported

The LifeNews.ru website said many victims had metal fragments embedded in their bodies and that the explosive device was packed with bolts, nuts, nails and ball bearings.

The bomb appeared to have exploded in an area where people gather to meet travelers emerging from customs.  The airport Domodedovo handles almost half the air traffic for Moscow.  Served by 48 foreign airlines, it has flights to 243 cities around the world.

President Dmitry Medvedev, looking somber and downcast, told officials in a nationally televised briefing that it was a terrorist attack.

He ordered authorities to immediately tighten security at Moscow's two other commercial airports and other key transport facilities, including the subway system.

During the past 14 months, terrorists have targeted Moscow's transportation system with three bombings that have killed more than 100 people.  In November 2009, a bomb derailed a high-speed, luxury train to St. Petersburg, killing 28.  Last March, two suicide bombers from Dagestan set off bombs in two Moscow subway trains, killing 40.  In both these attacks, Islamic radicals took responsibility.

In today’s airport attack, Russian news wires report police are searching for three suspects from the North Caucasus.  Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin says experts are trying to identify the suspected bomber.

Interfax reported police found the head of an Arab-looking man, aged between 30 to 35.

Leaders of the Islamist insurgency in the North Caucasus have vowed to bring the violence to the nation’s capital.  In Dagestan, Chechnya and Ingushetia, there are almost daily, armed attacks on government and police officials.

Domodedovo is generally regarded as Moscow's most modern airport, but its security procedures have failed in the past.

In 2004, two suicide bombers were able to board planes at Domodedovo by buying tickets illegally from airport personnel.  The bombers blew themselves up in mid-air, killing 90 people aboard the two flights.  

The blast represents a big setback for confidence in Russia’s security as it gears up for two major international sporting  events, the Winter Olympics in 2014 and the 2018 World Cup.

As President Medvedev postponed his visit to the World Economic Forum in Davos,  international sympathy poured into Moscow.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said U.S. President Barack Obama called the bombing "an outrageous act of terrorism against the Russian people,"  

NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Twitter he was "deeply disturbed" by the bombing and that "NATO and Russia stand together in the fight against terrorism."   

German Chancellor Angela Merkel slammed the attack as"cowardly"

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

US Urges Restraint in Hong Kong Protests

Protesters angered by Beijing's decision to only approve candidates that it sanctions for Hong Kong's leadership elections in 2017 More

Archive of Forgotten UCLA Speeches Offers Snapshot of History

Recordings of prominent voices in social change, politics, science and literature from 1960s, early 1970s now available on YouTube More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenyai
X
Gabe Joselow
September 29, 2014 6:20 PM
Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Video

Video Reconstruction? What Reconstruction? Life After War in Gaza

It’s been a month since Israel and the Palestinians agreed to a ceasefire to end 52 days of an air and tank war that left 60,000 homes in Gaza damaged or destroyed and 110,000 homeless. Sharon Behn reports that lack of reconstruction is leading to despair.
Video

Video US, Saudi Arabia and UAE Hit Islamic State's Oil Revenue

The United States, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have bombed oil facilities operated by Islamic State militants in Syria. It was a truly collaborative effort, with the two Arab countries dropping the majority of the bombs. The 12 refineries targeted were estimated to generate as much as $2 million per day for the terrorist group. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb has the story.
Video

Video Russia's Food Sanctions Raise Price Worries, Hopes for Domestic Production

Russia retaliated against Western sanctions imposed for its actions in Ukraine by halting food imports from the West. The temporary import ban on food from Australia, the European Union, Norway and North America has Russian consumers concerned that they could face a sharp increase in food prices. But in an ironic twist, the restrictions aimed at the Kremlin have made Russia's domestic food producers hopeful this can boost their business. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Washington to Pyongyang: 'Shut This Evil System Down'

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is calling on North Korea to shut down prison camps and other human rights abuses following a United Nations Commission of Inquiry into "widespread and systematic human rights violations." VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid