News / Europe

    Death Toll Rises in Russia Blasts

    Russia Ramps up Security Near Volgogradi
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    December 31, 2013 10:06 AM
    Russian authorities have increased security in and around the southern city of Volgograd after two suicide bomb attacks killed 31 people and left dozens more injured over the past two days.
    Russia Ramps up Security Near Volgograd
    VOA News
    Russian officials announced that three more people have died as a result of the two suicide bombings which struck the southern city of Volgograd Sunday and Monday, bringing the death toll to 34. Dozens more were injured.

    No one has yet claimed responsibility for the attacks.

    Russian authorities have increased security in and around Volgograd in the wake of the bombings.

    In Monday's attack, a bomb blast ripped apart a trolleybus, killing 14 people and injuring 30 others. A day earlier, a suicide bomber detonated explosives at the security entrance of the city's main train station in an attack that left at least 17 dead.

    A spokesman for Russia's main investigative agency said the bomb in Monday's explosion was similar to the one used in Sunday's attack, giving credence to suspicions that they may be linked.

    The Kremlin said Monday Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered the country's counterterrorism agency to step up security in Volgograd and elsewhere across the country.

    Russia's foreign ministry compared the attacks to similar acts of terrorism in the United States, Iraq and Nigeria. They called for international solidarity in countering terrorism and the "ideology of violence that feeds it as well as extremism."

    Anatoly Ermolin, a veteran of Russia's special security forces, told VOA's Russian Service that what happened in Volgograd was a planned terrorist act and was carried out professionally. He called it a "layered attack" which may not be over, adding that the goal was to have the whole country talking about it in the lead up to New Year celebrations.

    U.S. National Security Council spokesperson Caitlin Hayden condemned the attacks in Russia, and said that the United States stands with the Russian people against terrorism. Hayden's statement also said that the U.S. government has offered its full support to the Russian government in security preparations for the upcoming Olympic Games.

    The attacks came just weeks before the Winter Olympics open in Sochi, about 650 kilometers southwest of Volgograd. Islamist militants had threatened to attack civilians and disrupt the Winter Games.

    The International Olympic Committee expressed its condolences over the bombings, and said it is confident in Russia's ability to provide security at the Games.

    Russian Olympic Committee chief Alexander Zhukov said no additional security measures will be taken in Sochi in the light of the attacks in Volgograd, adding that "everything necessary has been done."

    Russia has introduced some of the most stringent security at any international sporting event, including a limited access security cordon around the entire city of Sochi and requiring spectators to have accreditation documents which include passport details and contact information.

    Authorities initially said Sunday's blast was set off by a female suicide bomber from Dagestan, a republic in the nearby volatile North Caucasus, but later said they believe the attacker was a man.

    • Russian President Vladimir Putin (C) shakes hands with a man injured in a bomb blast, Volgograd, Russia, Jan. 1, 2014.
    • Pallbearers carry the coffin of Denis Andreev, age 24, who was killed by a suicide bomb blast in the main railway station, Volgograd, Russia, Jan. 1, 2014.
    • Russian President Vladimir Putin lays flowers at the site of a trolley bus explosion, Volgograd, Russia, Jan. 1, 2014.
    • Security personnel patrol the streets, central Volgograd, Russia, Jan. 1, 2014.
    • A policeman patrols a street with New Year's decorations, central Volgograd, Russia, Jan. 1, 2014.
    • A woman cries outside the main railway station, Volgograd, Russia, Dec. 31, 2013. 
    • Investigators work at the site of a blast on a bus in Volgograd, Russia, Dec. 30, 2013.
    • Members of the emergency services work at the site of a bomb blast on a bus in Volgograd, Russia, Dec. 30, 2013.
    • Smoke pours out of the railway station after an explosion, Volgograd, Russia, Dec. 29, 2013. 
    • Investigators work at the site of an explosion near the entrance to a train station in Volgograd, Russia, Dec. 29, 2013. 

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