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

Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory 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.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid