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
TEXT SIZE - +

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"


James Brooke

A foreign correspondent who has reported from five continents, Brooke, known universally as Jim, is the Voice of America bureau chief for Russia and former Soviet Union countries. From his base in Moscow, Jim roams Russia and Russia’s southern neighbors.

You May Like

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

John the XXIII and John Paul II will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square on April 27 More

Thailand Reacts to Plots Targeting Israelis

Authorities hope arrest of two Lebanese suspects will disrupt plot to attack young Israeli tourists More

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

'Once Upon a Forest' takes viewers deep into heart of tropical rainforest 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.
Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Churchi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 22, 2014 4:14 PM
On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Robotic Mission Kicks Up Lunar Dust

A robotic mission to the moon was deliberately crashed onto the lunar surface late last week, but not before scientists had collected data gathered by the spacecraft which was designed to self-destruct. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports on the preliminary findings of the craft, called LADEE - an acronym for Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer.
Video

Video Boko Haram Claims Responsibility for Bombing in Nigerian Capital

The Nigerian militant group known as Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for a bombing in the capital on April 14th that killed 75 people. In the video message, Abubakar Shekau, the man who says he ordered the bombing, says nothing about the mass abduction of more than 100 teenage girls, most of whom are still missing. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Abuja.
Video

Video Ukraine Developments Hang Over Obama Trip to Asia

President Barack Obama's trip to Asia this week comes as concerns over Beijing's territorial ambitions are growing in the region. Those concerns have been compounded by Russia's recent actions in Ukraine and the possibility that Chinese strategists might be looking to Crimea as a model for its territorial disputes with its neighbors. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid