News / Europe

Death Toll Rises in Russia Blasts

Relatives gather around the coffin of a victim of an explosion at a funeral in Volgograd, Dec. 31, 2013.
Relatives gather around the coffin of a victim of an explosion at a funeral in Volgograd, Dec. 31, 2013.
VOA News
Russian officials say three more people have died as a result of the two suicide bombings in the southern city of Volgograd Sunday and Monday, bringing the death toll to 34 with dozens more 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 16 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 18 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, confirming 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 carried out professionally. He says it is 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 Years celebrations.

U.S. National Security Council spokesperson Caitlin Hayden condemned the attacks in Russia, saying the United States stands with the Russian people against terrorism. Hayden's statement says 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, but says it is confident of Russia's ability to provide security at the Games.

Russian Olympic Committee chief Alexander Zhukov says 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 authorities later said they believe the attacker was a man.
 
Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Gennady from: Russia, Volga Region
December 31, 2013 8:28 PM
To Zayetsev from USA

I'm not sure that the recent blasts are from the Islamic and international terrorism and I wouldn't jump into hasty conclusions. Russia is in a dire state with its appalling record in abusing basic human rights, gagged mass media, rigged elections. So Russia under Mr. Putin's rule has got its own agenda when anybody and at any time maybe imprisoned for life in the country with planted drugs and weapons.


by: zaytsev from: USA
December 31, 2013 10:43 AM
Putin vows "total elimination of Islamic Terrorism..." and everyone applauds... what if Israel espoused such a vow..?? you would see the UN become apoplectic... and "Gennady" here wonders about the "political message" of the islamic terrorism massacre of women and children on a bus and a train station...

look, I read somewhere on the VOA comments that Russia will not be able to survive this Islamic Terrorism - and I agree - I was born in Russia


by: Gennady from: Russia, Volga Region
December 31, 2013 8:57 AM
The tragedy of the Russian nation and injustice is that it is held for hostage and cannon fodder while the real target for the masterminds is protected and safely guarded. Strangely, but no one questions what is the political message behind the attacks in the country with dozens political prisoners, without independent mass media and rigged elections.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid